Recently, I received a contract from an ebook publisher for my first novel. I've heard stories of authors taking years to publish, and I certainly took years to write the thing. But Double Dragon was the first publisher I sent it to and they took it. So I'm legitimate now. I'm an author. Really.
The little hater in my head has for years been finding ways to tell me that my writing doesn't count. My many articles for Today's Parent Toronto don't count because my mother got me an in at that magazine, and because it's non-fiction, and not particularly literary. The short story I got published a couple years ago doesn't count because it was in the wrong genre. A story about a teenager bra shopping with her mother will not further my career as a sci fi writer.
Unfortunately my little hater hasn't been silenced. She is finding ways to tell me that a book sold to a fairly prolific ebook publisher doesn't count either. First, she says that nobody will by it, and there can be no real success without monetary gain. Then, the hater reminds me that as an ebook, it will never be on the shelves of a real live bookstore. Never mind that ebooks are the new big thing. Never mind that a legitimate publisher read my work and found it worthy.
I'm beginning to suspect that I'll always feel that way. One book doesn't count because I don't have two. Two books won't count because I don't make enough to pay the bills. Ten books won't count because I haven't won awards or made a million dollars or become a household name.
I wonder if J.K. Rowling has these insecurities, or Stephenie Meyer, or Robert J. Sawyer, or Ursula Le Guin, or Stephen King. I'd like to think they all do. I'd like to think that these insecurities are an integral part of the creative psyche, proof that at my core I am an author.