Right now I am hard at work on fourth novel “Summer Camp of the Dead” and I was hit with a confounding question.
Am I still a writing Rookie?
I have been doing professional work in one form or another since 2007. With two novels published and receiving decent reviews, a Third ready to go on the first of May, and being neck deep on a fourth I think I have done a lot of the leg work that a real writer needs to do. I have been paid, not well but paid, in real money for the work I have done.
I tried to go the traditional route of getting an agent and then finding a publisher for more than two years before I said fuck it. Now I self publish my work through my own small press publishing company and I have to say there is a deep feeling of satisfaction knowing that I am captaining this ship. I hire and pay editors and cover artists. I have multiple projects going on at this very moment. I am busier and happier than I have ever been in my entire life.
But does that all make me a veteran or am I a kid playing games?
Do I need the validation of an outside publisher buying my stuff?
There are certain publishers I would love to have acquire my stuff. And there are things going on behind the scenes that may one day lead to that but I am treating that as something that may happen but is not relevant to my current course of action.
I think I have paid my dues.
I think I take my craft seriously.
I know I would do this even if I was not being paid.
So when do I start believing that I deserve to be here. When do I start to believe that my creations are as valid as anyone else’s?
At least I am happy.