Exactly one year ago today, a journey fifteen years in the making took its first step. Ink freshly laid began to dry, and GENMOS: Gathering Storms was officially signed to Thurston Howl Publications.
It was a sign to me, a sign that my work was not in vain, a sign that someone other than me and a few close friends felt I had any talent with the written word, a sign that someone had faith in a group of characters birthed from an active imagination.
In short, today is my Writeversary.
I didn’t consider myself a professional and published author until early in the new year, when I received a cheque for Tooth, Claw and Fang, and word that my other short, A Voice Not Spoken, was published, but today celebrates the start of that journey, the signal that all my work and enhancement over the years was not for naught.
It inspired me to keep going, to keep improving, to say thank you to all those who encouraged me, all those that still do, and to say a not-sarcastic thank you to those who doubted me, because you too, inspired me to grow.
It’s been an amazing first year. I was scared at first, worried that something would happen like it had twice before, that GENMOS would be dropped, or lost in some reorganization, but as the weeks passed and my publisher and editors communicated with me, my confidence grew. I began to submit short stories in the hopes that the signature was not a one-time fluke, and I was rewarded for my efforts.
FurPlanet Productions, Scary Dairy Press, Multifarious Press, Siren’s call publications, and, of course, Thurston Howl Publications, again and again, have proven to me that I CAN write. I can Wordcraft.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU, and to ALL WHO OFFER THEIR SUPPORT. I could not have done this alone, I could not have done this without beta readers, editors, friends and family that offered honest, sometimes scathing, criticism. You have helped to mold me into something that I am proud of.
Now, I haven’t achieved any success by lying back once the ink finalized the deal. Gathering Storms underwent drastic changes (for the better) and I busied myself by writing and submitting short stories to token paying markets in an attempt to raise some finances to support my craft and in an attempt to get my name out to other markets. I joined the Furry Writer’s Guild and met many cool people who were willing to help. I entered into social media and built websites, engaged in hashtag games, been interviewed twice, and even built my own word game on twitter, #Words2Show.
Over the last 52 weeks, I wrote 26 short stories, edited others in my reserve pile, made 46 submissions, endured 29 rejections, am still awaiting word on 7 of those attempts, released 5 stories Pro Bono, and earned 10 more signatures from various presses.
The number of rejections might seem high, but considering that’s still a 21% success rate, I’m ecstatic. That’s a 1 in 5 ratio of victory, which means I’m doing SOMETHING right after all these years! Here’s hoping that next year will see NOBILIS: Seedling released (Also from Thurston Howl Publication) GENMOS Book 2 completed, signed and released. I’m hoping to finish rewriting one, if not two of my other works, and I’m still working the short story market.
I’m not giving up, not now, and I’m glad I never truly did.
For all those doubting themselves, doubting their use of words, doubting their scribbles and notes and plots, don’t. I’m proof that perseverance can pay off. I’m proof that hard work, good, strong effort, a willingness to listen and improve, CAN make your dreams come true.
Thank you for sharing my first year’s journey with me. I hope to have many more, and I would love it if you were to join me and follow alongside.