This post was kind of scary to write, and I'm still not sure I should post it. I don't often open up about the struggles I'm going through on my blog. I try to keep it upbeat, fun, positive and all that jazz. But let's face the truth: this business can be really hard.
So, here it is. I have a confession to make. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I am very self-deprecating. I tend to deal with disappointments with sarcasm. Am I breaking apart inside? Am I crushed, upset, hurting? Well, let's make a joke at my own expense, get everyone to laugh. Deflect the real pain that's there.
It's probably not a great way to deal with things.
I am surrounded by authors. Amazing, talented, successful authors. I am really good friends with a lot of them, and I have the incredible good fortune of being CPs/beta readers with or for many of them (which means I get to read their insanely good books long before they hit a shelf). I am so lucky and I love them all. It truly is a blessing to have so many blow-your-mind talented friends. This may seem like a tangent, but bear with me for a minute.
The problem is that I haven't reached that point yet--I don't have a book deal, I don't have a book on a shelf, so I don't feel legit. Sometimes, I let my own self-doubt and worry and insecurity lead me to tell myself that I don't really belong. That I'm not a "real author yet."
I make a joke out of it, but it's to cover up my embarrassment, my shame that I've been working tirelessly at this for six years and still don't have a book deal. I have a sweet, wonderfully talented friend who was querying with me back in the fall of 2009. I'd already been in the query trenches for quite some time (okay, a couple of years) and this was her first foray back into them for a long time. (She'd been published by a smaller, local publisher and was seeking national representation for her new book.) Well, here we are years later and her entire trilogy is going to be published this November, and I still don't even have a publishing deal. I often feel like a failure. I've come SO close. Like, seriously, you can't believe how close... but in the end, nothing has worked out yet.
I am still not published. And so I joke and say that I'm not a real author yet. That I don't really belong, but maybe someday... maybe.
Well, guess what? I AM a real author. I've written books. I've actually written a LOT of books. And someday they will be published. Maybe not all of them, but at least some. And I have more books yet to be written. I write every day. I will continue to write, because whether or not I get a book deal this year, or in five years, or never--writing is part of me. There are some really bad days when I say I wish I could just quit. But no matter how bad it gets, or how much I wish I could quit, I can't because writing won't quit me.
Writing is part of me. It's more than just something I love to do, it's something I have to do.
So, I am an author. And hopefully someday you will be able to see my name on a shelf. But if not, I will still be an author, because no matter what happens, I won't ever stop writing.