A couple of months ago I wrote a post detailing my desire to get my writing available online and my reasons for doing so. I haven’t posted for a while, and in the interim there has been a couple of developments involving my writing. I hope that this post won’t come across as too self-indulgent or self-congratulatory, it is just an honest update. The small steps I have taken are pretty inconsequential anyway, but I find noting them down is a record of how I am navigating the sometimes overwhelming ocean of options for publishing material. And if anything I say helps others on their journeys, then that’s all to the good.
After posting my novella ‘Momentum’ on Amazon I received an extraordinarily kind email from the organiser of my old book club in Melbourne. Without my knowledge, he had talked with the rest of the group and decided to make my novella one of the two choices to talk about for their December meeting. This meant a great deal for me and I am super grateful for their support, but it still filled me with some trepidation. The thought of fifteen friends sitting around dissecting my work was a scary one, even though I would be asleep on the other side of the world whilst they were having their meeting. I’m happy to report that most of the feedback I received was positive, although of course the opinions of friends have to be taken with a pinch of salt as they tend to err on the side of praise to avoid upset. Best of all was that a couple of members purchased the novella from Amazon rather than go through this blog, which means for the first time in my life I have made financial gain from my writing. The royalty payments for an Amazon sale are frankly a pittance, but I still feel proud. As the title of this post suggests, it’s a tiny step but worth commemorating, I think.
More exciting was the fallout from a novella competition I entered on the website Booksie, which is basically a portal to upload and critique work. It was a lucky accident that ‘Momentum’ fulfilled the criteria for the competition, which was run by a small American publishing company. I didn’t win, but shortly after the competition closed I was contacted by someone from the publisher saying how much they enjoyed my work and inviting me to contribute a short story for the next volume of their literary journal, due out in 2017. I sent them my story ‘In The Doghouse’, and I’m very pleased to say that it has been accepted for the volume. So I will see a piece of my writing in print for the very first time in the next year. Which I am very excited about. I’m receiving no payment for it but the exposure will be invaluable and now no-one can ever take the achievement away from me. I have really taken more of a commitment to writing this year and to see it pay off, even in only this small way, is really rewarding. I guess it’s like any other job – work hard and take it seriously and it really can happen.
So, a nice finish to the writing year for me. I’ve been more prolific this year than in probably a decade or more, and I think this is down to pushing through when creative thoughts are hard to come by, rather than admitting defeat. It makes an enormous difference.