Firsts can be a scary thing. A baby’s first steps. A teenager’s first time behind the wheel. A candidate’s first public speech.
Writers have many firsts. I had one of my “firsts” when I wrote my first poem at age 10. A “Man Like Dan” was what you would imagine a fledgling attempt at being a writer would be. Corny. Sappy. The type of verse causing any seasoned writer to cringe at how immature and unpolished one piece of work could be.
But at the time I didn’t care. I’d gone from looking at a scary blank piece of paper to actually creating something that never existed before. I was pretty darn proud of the fact I was the one who had done such a thing! A first for me. I actually kept that first poem, tucked away with other writings gathered over the years. If I laid them all out in chronological order, one could look at them and see my maturity as a writer develop from then until now.
This year I began another “first”. My first book contract. All my hard work over the past few years culminated in a wonderful book offer from Anaiah Press and now I prepare for the next phase of my writing career. Of course I had some initial doubts something like this would happen. All writers do at some point in their career…heck, even more than once in their career! But self-doubt and fear of the unknown shouldn’t keep writers from doing what they love and that is dance with the written word. The coming together in a symphony of mystical, magical words sung to an eager audience by one writer’s unique voice. Each new story a gift to the world and a first for it’s creator.
Next year I will begin another “first”. I will walk into the new year an author. How strange to attach a title I have coveted for so many years to my own name. And I will continue to work on my weaknesses as a writer…like grammar and those pesky verb tenses…and polish each story I write until it shines as brightly as I can make it.
Eventually there will be more firsts in my life…my first book signing or my first school visit. We writers have the opportunity to experience many “firsts” in our lifetimes. Maybe this is how we can remain fresh in how we approach our skills as a writers…with fresh eyes and an eagerness to meet that next “first” head on!
I wonder what “first” you will create today?
Donna L. Martin is the author of The Story Catcher, a children’s book, which will be available next year.