Yesterday, I attended an author expo at a local library, and as I arranged my wares on my allotted author table, I was reminded of how far I've come in this author journey of mine.
I'm now the author of seven published books, which I sometimes find a little hard to believe. Because once upon a time, not all that long ago I was struggling just to sell a short story and was a long way away from writing a single novel.
I don't have to look far to be me reminded of my humble beginnings--just an inch or so to my right. That's where my computer mouse sits. Not just any mouse, but the greatest mouse in the world.
Mouse users fall into a few different schools. There are those who are devoted to their ordinary optical mouses, others who actually use that trackpad thing on their laptop and then there are those of us who swear by our trackballs. I might never have discovered the joys of a trackball mouse if it weren't for my creative writing efforts.
Back in the early days of my attempts to make it as an author, I was determined to get my short stories published any way that I could. I sought out every publication and contest I could find and dutifully submitted my work.
Most of the time these submissions led nowhere, but every once in awhile I would experience the magical feeling of success. One of those little successes gave me this mouse.
I don't mean I invested the earnings from my writing to buy my mouse. I mean, my prize for winning a flash fiction giveaway was this Logitech trackball mouse. Some might consider a mouse a lame prize, but everyday I'm thankful (and my wrist is thankful) that I entered and won that giveaway.
That was well over a decade ago, and I think it's worth noting that though my mouse has some cosmetic wear and tear including that large dark spot at the front from my hand sweat, my mouse is still going strong. Long after a cash prize would have been spent and forgotten, my mouse is still here--a daily reminder of where it all began.
In the intervening years, I've managed to earn significantly more than a computer peripheral from my writing, and while I'm not quit-my-day-job rich yet, I'm pretty happy with what I've managed to achieve.
I'm grateful for all the triumphs I've had in my author journey, but somedays its those little, early ones that I'm most thankful for. At a time when rejection letters were piling up, it meant a lot to me to have my short works accepted for publication, and to receive compensation for my writing, no matter how small it was. It gave me the encouragement I needed to keep on writing and submitting, and I'm so glad that I did.
Find our more about Alissa Grosso, grab a free ebook and watch episodes of her weekly Awkward Author vlog at her website alissagrosso.com.