When I wrote my first novel, Quintspinner - A Pirate's Quest, I was writing for the sheer joy of storytelling. Yes, there was a little pressure to do so, to finish the story and to make it a good one, from friends and spouse who, once I told them I was "writing a book", either guffawed and shook their heads, or beamed with enthusiasm. ( Either way, I had something to prove.) I was writing in the best time to be a writer - the age of the Internet. At the time I didn't realize that writing historical was more work than contemporary - there was all that research to do on life in the 1700's, on tall ships, on pirates - as well as creating loveable/detestable characters, settings that sprung to life in a reader's mind, and a compelling page-turning keep-you-up-at-night plot. At the time it was all just a wonderful way to get lost in a story - to be whisked away to another time and place that felt so real to me. There were many moments of self-doubt along the way and that's when affirmations of friends and fellow writers, even hearing of other's successes and enjoying them vicariously, pulled me through.
And the hours of work have paid off, I think. Quintspinner was a shortlist selection for the 2010 Saskatchewan Best First Book Award, and last week it placed first in Best Historical Fiction ( and therefore was recipient of the Tyler R. Tichelaar Award for Best Historical Fiction) and third in Best YA (15-18) for the 2011 ReaderViews Book Awards. Even though I reached my initial goal of writing and getting a book published, these awards have confirmed to me that my book is an enjoyable read to others and for now, self-doubt has greatly diminished. I am Write on the Way to ...Somewhere! To all of the writers out there, hold fast to any and all positive affirmations! Keep believing in yourself.