There’s comes a time in every young author’s career when they get totally slapped in the face. With reality, that is.
Allow me to explain. I attended my first writer’s panel last week. Walking through the doors of the heavily air-conditioned building in Santa Monica, I felt like a million bucks. I had just completed my ninth chapter only hours before, and while I snacked on wine and cheese, I chatted with the few other people who were there about novels, the panel, and the excitement we shared for the evening. After mingling, I took my seat in the panel room and silently tweeted about my time so far. Soon after, the room started to fill, and my ego slowly started to deflate. I was glad to be surrounded by my people; other aspiring authors, and screen writers, and the like. But geez, was there supposed to be this many of them?
Shortly after my ego pop the panel started their presentation, and the only thing going through my head: I am utterly intimidated. It was an emotion I hadn’t yet felt in the process of writing, and all of a sudden it hit me. There are other people in this writing world, this writing world I call my own. I was so wrapped up in my own writing, I felt invincible. Until I visibly saw the other authors with my own eyes, it was all fun and games. Hours of daydreaming about when Simon & Schuster would call me up to personally tell me I have an exclusive publishing deal, how the first agent I sent my work to would call me back within 30 minutes and beg for my business, how my name would be plastered on the cover of the New York Times Bestseller List. Get real, honey.
This isn’t a game, this is the real deal. There are people out there, fighting night and day, to get a book deal. It takes more than hard work, it takes determination, courage, and an undying passion to get in this business. Faced with the reality that this is not only my dream, this is hundreds, no thousands, of other people’s dream, was a slap in the face. A wake up call. A push to keep moving forward, keep writing at all costs, and be aware that I am not alone in this. It was something I always knew, it just didn’t seem real to me.
Intimidation doesn’t have to be a bad thing though. In fact, I think in this case, it was that little push I needed.
As authors, we are all in this struggle together. Hopefully this can be your little push too.