Last week I spent an evening at a book launch. For a book that I've been published in. And I was so incredibly excited that I was bouncing around for the whole day before it (A day which included a lecture about standards and policy documents - hard to concentrate, I can tell you!).
Backtracking a little bit, in case you've missed it. One of my short stories, Destiny, has been published in For Book's Sake's latest short story anthology, '(Re)Sisters: Stories of rebel girls, revolution, empowerment and escape'. I submitted the story last summer, wanting to push myself more with my writing. Working to a deadline really helps me to actually get stuff done, so I wrote the story, edited in a fury and submitted on the day of the deadline. Then I took a deep breath and tried to forget about it for a while.
Fast forward a few months to me sitting in a car with my mum driving through West Cork to visit friends when an email pops up. My instant thought was 'rejection', because...well because I wanted it not to be so badly.
It wasn't, obviously.
So there I was last week, surround by the Grrls from our wonderful women's writing group and my mum and partner, as well as lots of other awesome people and some of the other authors from the book. And I read from my story, enjoying every second of it. My new ambition, to read my work out loud more often is definitely cemented after last week.
I was high for days on the excitement and celebration of the night, achieving my dream of breaking my way into the world of published writers. It raised an important point for me, about what I can achieve, in fact, what anyone can achieve when they believe in what they're doing even a little bit; because that little bit can grow and expand. If I hadn't taken the chance, I wouldn't be feeling like this now. I wouldn't be writing more regularly and planning novels and short stories left right and centre.
I have discovered another part of my life that my anxiety cannot touch, that I am proud to speak about and not shy or retiring; I don't hedge my sentences with doubt when I speak about my writing, because unlike with so many other things in life, I know I can find solace in something that I love, that I can lose myself in and that I am completely proud to say I am good at.
Onwards and upwards from here: next, the novel!
Click the link to order your copy of (Re)Sisters from For Book's Sake. It's filled with incredible stories by incredible women from around the world, showing the variety and courage of rebel girls, empowering others to tell their stories.