Our very first publications and/or bylines, how did they feel?
With the first ones in school, I felt embarrassed.
I had very little self-esteem and I had critical people around me, so I never felt anything was good enough when I was in lower grades. I didn’t have the opportunity, or put myself into opportunities to publish anything in higher grades, although I knew that when I did write, was getting better.
Moving on to adulthood, I knew I could write a bit. Although not published, when I took a minor award from an international songwriting competition, I can’t say that I was surprised. (My sister was in shock; she had entered several over several years and never got a mention.)
But as far as first real publications, one of the dearest friends I ever had knew I was writing. I was putting down ideas for a book of easy entertaining and cooking for those who felt that any attempts were beyond their abilities. Unfortunately, unless you are a TV chef or a celebrity of any type, you will not get attention from publishers, (so my other blog was born later on). The friend was writing a children’s story. She stumbled across a shrine that was asking for Christmas cards to be written for them; two would be made into their official cards for the season and the best of the rest would be put into an inspirational book to be sold. When those plans fell through, they published the book online, and my three or four submissions were included, (unfortunately, my friend’s were not). The next year the process was repeated and the four l that I submitted, plus a photo to illustrate one, was published. I guess they liked my work.
Still, I was not excited, either time. I was a bit surprised that they used all of my submissions, but I did not allow myself to be thrilled.
I’ve mentioned before about the box I was given in a TV famous craft-person’s book. I was amazed and a bit annoyed; I had hoped to win big prizes for my tip. I may have felt more had it not come to me out of the blue, but I was disappointed that it was only a book that I won. However, a lot of people have read my idea and I guess that should count for something.
The next biggest break was the article I had published in a ‘glossy’ magazine about my aunt and the meaning to the community of her Italian Hour radio show. I take real pride in that one because unbeknownst to me, the publisher had an idea for a much shorter article, yet he published it in its entirety after reading it and reconsidering. The magazine has quite a readership, yet, I can’t say that I turned backflips.
I probably felt as much pride when I wrote articles for organizations years back. I have re-read the descriptive menus I wrote for my defunct bakery/restaurant and remember being thrilled seeing them in print. It was a short, minor thrill and often more of a feeling of accomplishment.
I have been a slacker on my other works and I hope to feel excitement in my next publication. I have some confidence now, so hiding my bushel under a basket is not something I need to do. Perhaps the accomplishments of my loved ones overshadow my small accomplishments.
I also come from a long line of frustrated writers who seldom ‘put themselves out there’; that was never conducive to setting me up for success. Which is why I am indebted to The Hound and others who encourage my grandson, and why I have encouraged him myself, edit his work and his girlfriend’s writing, plus I hand over my computer and printer any time my granddaughters are here and want to write. (They all like to write and I am thrilled.)
It just may be that I don’t let myself celebrate my own accomplishments.
This has been an exercise in self-analysis.
Excuse me while I take a moment to bask in my few rays of sunshine and plan on some more!