I’m not a famous author, at least not yet. Maybe I never will be.
But, as I take this journey, It seems like I am “arriving” more and more as an author of some note. I an no longer a nobody, that’s for sure.
As I look back at my journey as an author, I think back to all of the steps I have taken as I have lived this dream aspect of my life.
Each positive step, I might call a “stage of arriving.”
Let’s look back at these…
Stage 1 – Getting Published
Until one gets published, getting published remains just a dream and a hope and a wish. It is great to dream and hope and wish and I harbored those feelings for a long long time. I faced many rejections along the way as well. I had many people tell me that I didn’t know how to write, that I couldn’t write, and more. (We can’t please them all.) Once I was published, in a sense, I had arrived. There was a book that people could buy and it had my name on it. I had arrived. That was the first step.
Stage 2 – Getting Read/Speaking Engagements
It’s great to be published. It’s even greater when someone reads your book. It’s even better when someone likes it. Along with this, having organizations and libraries welcoming me to speak sent a certain legitimacy to my work as an author. If a library brings in an author to speak, he has to be “somebody.” Right?
Stage 3 – Getting Positive Reviews
The next big step is receiving positive reviews in the forms of people telling me that they like my book (“Great book, Paul, I really enjoyed it.”), receiving letters of praise, and seeing positive reviews on the Internet on book sites like Goodreads and Amazon (among others). Once you’re published, knowing that people like your book is a huge step in the right direction.
Stage 4 – Getting Recognition in the Industry
My novel, Scattering the Ashes, won a couple of literary awards. My book on the Yankees, The Least Among Them, was named in a national publication as one of the best books of 2021. Being recognized is a huge step forward.
Stage 5 – Being Welcomed into “the Group”
As I worked on The Least Among Them, I connected with many authors, some big time names, who welcomed me into their circles and provided support, ideas, guidance, and more. Yeah, being considered a peer of big time authors… that’s arriving!
Stage 6 – Finding Myself in Barnes & Noble
This was a big step – walking into Barnes and Noble and finding MY book on the shelves. Yeah, that was huge! What a moment! (I took the book, autographed it, and put it back on the shelf.) That has always been a dream of mine, and when I saw my book on the shelf, I knew I had, in a large sense, arrived.
Stage 7 – Being Asked To Write A Book Review For a Fellow Author
I just experienced this step. This is what made me think of this article. An author recently reached out to me to ask me to review his book and write a blurb (if I liked it). Imagine that, people will see my review and think, “If Semendinger likes it, maybe I should read this.” An author has definitely arrived when another author asks for his stamp of approval!
Stage 8 – Who Knows?
I have no idea what is next. I am just LOVING this journey.