I’m a mental case. An antisocial, introverted, scared-as-shit-of-everything mental case. And I find myself wondering if this isn’t a prerequisite for a writer. Then again, there are some apparently very sane, very together people who write like crazy but aren’t. Crazy, that is.
It really cuts into my ability to produce. I’m saner when I’m writing on a regular basis, but getting to writing on a regular basis requires that I believe in myself. I’m a mental case, for god’s sake; I never believe in myself. Ah, the ambivalence of it all!
But here’s the thing. I’m pretty good. At writing, that is. (Forget about believing in myself; never gonna happen.) I write novels; I make short stories long. I plot and plan and manipulate and finagle until the mix gels and makes magic. I’ve gotten better over the years to the point where now I believe that my abilities as a novelist are pretty well set. I’ll seek out critique when I’ve done everything I can on my own, and then I’ll send the second and then third books of my trilogy out into the world.
For you see, I no longer need to seek out validation from a whole group full of writers over multiple rewrites. I’ve found my mojo, and I know my weaknesses. Deserted, the second book in the Lisen of Solsta trilogy (see “A Taste of Deserted” below), is far from perfect now, but it will evolve under my hand, my watchful eyes. I don’t have to stand up and shout, “Pay attention to me!” anymore.
And you know why? Here’s why. I sent Fractured, the first volume of Lisen of Solsta, out to two contests, and this week I received a review from one of those contests. It’s only the first step of many in this particular competition, but Lisen and Fractured are moving on to round two. I wrote a while back about how I decided to publish independently and then enter these contests so I could get a review from someone who had no reason to like the book. And amazingly, my reviewer, who, indeed, doesn’t know me, not only gave me five beautiful gold stars (out of five) but also noted that I, D. Hart St. Martin, am her “new favorite author.”
It doesn’t get any better than that.