A novel is like a newborn baby. You created it. You nurtured it. You watched it grow into something amazing and wonderful—something you can touch, something tangible. It’s real and it’s yours. You love it. It is a part of you—a big part.
Now, as you present your baby to the world you hope for acceptance. Give me ooo’s and ahh’s. The one thing you hope never to hear is, “Wow, that is the ugliest baby I have ever seen.” No one wants to hear that—not a parent—not an author.
Validation is the key. I’m a very insecure author. I admit that. I write and I worry. Is it good? Is it a big piece of bologna between two slices of crap? Will people like it? Will people hate it? Will people look at me and wonder, “I can’t believe she would write something like that. What is wrong with her?” And the biggest question of all—am I any good at this or am I wasting my time? (Please, oh please, don’t tell me that).
Well today, I received validation—only a small piece of a really big pie of validation—but enough to make me smile ear to ear. I entered the Absolutely Write, Premier First Page Writing Contest. AND . . . drum roll, please . . . I won! I received 100 out of 100 points and 9 out of 10 (in the tiebreaker round) to come in FIRST PLACE for the Young Adult General Fiction category for my novel in progress called Desert Rice (title recently changed to Momma’s Little Girl).
Is this a big deal? In the overall scheme of things, probably not, but for an insecure writer like me . . . it’s a HUGE DEAL. To see my name posted online as the First Place winner in my division—WOW! And not just second or third place either—I TOOK FIRST PLACE. I beat them all. Wahahahaha.
I am thrilled. I am ecstatic. My heart is full of joy. I’m a teenier, tinnier step closer to realizing that maybe, just maybe I am on to something here. I’m not wasting my time. I am creating something that someone deemed worthy enough to give a first place title to.
I love to write. I can’t imagine not doing it. Someone out there thinks I'm doing an okay job of it.
My baby isn’t ugly and there is no better feeling than that.