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Islands in the Endless Swim

Are you familiar with the endless swim experiment? The one where rats are placed in a tank and forced to swim until they almost drown. Then, when the scientists place them in the water a second time, they don’t even try. They give up.

That’s how writing can feel.

Luckily, there are islands along the way. I’ve received an award! A big one at that.

The Creation of Stories Award, sponsored by Blurb. It’s a self publishing award specifically for Canadian authors and I couldn’t be more pleased. I won for the second book in the Assured Destruction series, SCRIPT KIDDIE in the YA category.

And it IS big. $50,000 in cash and inkind split between three authors.

There are NOT many awards out there of this magnitude.

But I’m not writing to toot my own horn.

I know the selection process—reading—is subjective and someone else could have easily won. I’ve been nominated many times, and know how that feels.

What I’m writing to talk about is the importance of these to authors, in particular those who do so without the backing of a publishing house. (Although I’m well aware of how much work is involved regardless of how you publish.)

The award is gratifying not only for the money, but for the ecosystem that starts to develop in support of your book and your writing in general. I’ve met some really great people over the past week.

Readers, reviews, awards, these are all islands for an author in their endless swim. And I actually think one of the key reasons authors self publish is because they need these islands. I know I do. Reviews are SO important to me. Perhaps too important. But I also wonder whether I would have made it as far as I have without self publishing, without the cultivation of islands. Pretty sure I might have drowned.

So this is a thank you to everyone who has helped me, encouraged me, reviewed me (good or bad), I couldn’t have made it to land without your help along the way.

Thank you.

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