Really. :D I have been posting raw/early draft stories here for a long time. For various reasons, I didn't post the finished product. I have free reading on my website for people who want a bit more polish. And soon, I'll have books that have been polished and sanded by multiple people, until I feel like a limp rag trying to keep up with it all. I shan't be doing that as I've had it slapped into me, both cheeks and possibly some whip usage, that I'M BEING PUBLISHED. I can't put the raw stuff out there anymore. And it hit me. I'M BEING PUBLISHED. My breath hitches and heart races just typing those words.
I know I've been spouting excitedly about my book coming out July 6th :D *squee* And I have a story in the anthology coming out in August. And now, a short coming out in November. And working on a full length novel on an approved synopsis to another publisher. Have a short in an anthology with that publisher.
And YET, yet, I still feel like that woman, who, a little over three years ago, lost her job in a business she hated (insurance) only a year after radiation treatments for thyroid cancer, who decided that she was going to write. That she was going to the take time off from the work force (I still looked for work, but it was very rough in 2008) to write and perfect the craft of writing. *I'll pause and let my fellow writers laugh and gaffaw their heads off at this notion. You NEVER perfect the craft of writing. There's ALWAYS something new to learn.*
Three years later, I have a book put out on joint venture (needs more editing but as it's joint venture, I have to put out the money to fix the errors and if the book no longer fits the cover already made, would have to pay more, so... yeah. suck.) and really, it was a steal for the original price. Only 600, the POD, they gave me cursory editing ideas, and provided a cover. A gorgeous cover. It's available through Barnes and Noble, yada yada. Well, since then, I learned they are on the Writer's Beware Hit List, as well as Predators and Editors. I'm pretty sure I haven't been paid for all copies of the books that were sold. A lesson learned.
Er, back from the rabbit trail, I have put out an erotic, romantic thriller, and a Fantasy as self pubbed works. I have since edited them with some of my skills learned and will continue to edit as I find errors and apply new skills. I'm not changing much else, as I think they are important to my growth as a writer. I've had favorite authors and I've gone back and read early stuff. Sometimes, I didn't like it. Sometimes, I did. But always, I could see the growth.
I've also now got the afore mentioned stuff happening and about to explode. So why do I feel like a novice? I even told my husband, "Strange. I actually do have writing credits. I haven't counted them, even when there was a link to prove it. I don't get why not. It's not like I'm trying to hide it."
Even the joint venture is a writng credit. But three years ago, I didn't know how to put it. "Well, I didn't pay the 2-3 grand for vanity publishing, but didn't get an advance either." I did get a few royalties :-) and I don't HAVE to put out anymore money unless I want it to come out in a cheaper paperback form. I'm not going to cuz I think it would still be 14.99 or something. Maybe, I can do that later, after editing it, if I make a killing out of my later books :) It would be a work of love at that point. The cover really is beautiful. I had book signings in Yakima, Washington, and San Antonio, Texas. That makes it real to me. The stores bought the books and everything. I didn't bring my own copies.
So, with all of that experience, why do I feel like a nut job trying to prove she's a writer? Well, first of all, I'm the mother of five. Some would say that proves their case of the crazies. Second of all, I haven't made large amounts of money yet. Don't get me wrong, the times I've had that check, anything from $12 to $170, have been important and needed. And, I think it would take a long time of substantially larger checks, for me to catch up on medical bills, fix the roof, the floors, the bathrooms, the yard...you see where I'm going?
I think that no matter how much I make, I'm going to feel like that writer trying to prove herself. Underneath all the excitement, the feeling of validation (like waving the contracts in my husbands face) that it brings me to have a publisher publishing my stories, is the woman who still feels like asking, "What's a query letter?"