My First Cover Reveal

by | Dec 7, 2018 | Writers of the Future | 6 comments

For a short story writer, a cover reveal is rare, and yet here I am at my first cover reveal! In April I will officially be a published author and, man, that sounds weird.

When I won the contest, it was a strange and validating feeling. It was a sign that I wasn’t just heading in the right general direction, but I was on the actual path. Who knew?

However, over time that feeling dulled, slipping into the back of my mind and fading into the dark shadows there. I went back to the old ways of thinking that I’d practiced many times before: I’m an amateur, my work isn’t good enough yet, maybe I’ll get published one day, am I wasting my time? Over and over again, those thought patterns persisted and they didn’t go away just because I got paid for a story.

They say practice makes perfect, but the truth is that it doesn’t. Practice makes permanent. For me, I’d practiced the idea of toiling away in obscurity for so long that as soon as the high of winning wore off, so did my heightened mindset.

Then David Farland sent me the edits for my story. There weren’t many–mostly just removing some, uh, harsh language–and I totally agreed with his suggestions. Reviewing the edits and sending them back had me feeling like a professional writer again! I turned a critical eye to my website, feeling that blogger wasn’t quite doing it for me anymore.

…But I put it on the back burner because practice makes permanent and I’m not used to worrying about how my website looks.

Then the Writers of the Future people asked me for a head shot. Sending in the picture I thought, what the hell? So, I paid for hosting and rebuilt my website from the ground up in WordPress to give my head shot a professional place to live. Shortly after–literally the day after launching my new site–the cover above was unveiled. More validation!

The regular positive reinforcement over time from Writers of the Future has been the constant nudge I need to correct the ways my thoughts have limited me. I thought my mindset had changed overnight, but the truth is that it takes time to change one’s perspective permanently. I hope anyone reading this and struggling with why they can’t “just be better” can use my experience to recognize that sometimes it takes time and practice to change–even when it comes to just accepting a win!

This anthology is the collection of my fellow winner’s works, along with some short stories and writing advice on offer from professional genre authors. They release a new volume every year in the spring like clockwork, and I’m happy to be published with such a great cover!

Look at me, being all professional-like.

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