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Celebrating Small Successes

There’s this creepy-crawly feeling that *I think* plagues every writer before they ever sign a novel-length contract.

Am I good at this or am I just pretending to be an author?

Clark Kent, on the desk ready for a long evening of writing.

When people ask about my life and I tell them about freelance writing and my goals I usually get an “oh, cute, you write”  *pats head.* Admitting the dream leaves me feeling like a six-year-old proclaiming I want to be a lion when I grow up or something.

So sometimes it’s the little successes that make the difference between throwing in the towel and pressing on. Those little glimmers of hope that keep me up typing late into the night and sacrificing my time spent doing other things.

Publishing the novella The Potential of Kitty Bennet was a huge boost to my writing confidence. Then this summer I worked up the nerve to submit to nationwide writing contests. I figured what did I have to lose? If the feedback came back “you suck” well, then I’d know the work ahead of me, and if it came back a different way, then I’d know to press on.

The view from my desk chair, Bruce Wayne holding down the fort. He’s with me 100% of the time when I’m writing, I suspect he’s going to angle for co-author status.

Thankfully, all the results came back the second way. I’ve finaled in all three writing competitions I entered and word came today that I won one (still waiting to find out if I’m the overall winner in the other two).

2011 Golden Pen (finalist, winner yet to be announced)

2011 Launching a Star (finalist, winner yet to be announced)

2011 Where the Magic Begins (winner!)

My plaque and ‘magic’ pin.

With that encouragement in my sails, I’ll write on.

P.S. Love in Bitterroot Valley has been retitled to Left to Chance.


About Jess Keller

I'm an author, speaker and chocolate eater who's chasing hard after my dreams.

10 responses »

  1. Congratulations! I, for one, fully believe in your career as writer. That may be due to the fact that I have read many things you’ve written, and totally loved them 🙂 cheers to this “small success” and best wishes for many more!

  2. Eep! I’m so excited for you!!!! I think I’ve told you, but it’s SO true. So glad to have met you on the journey!

    • Thanks friend! Not quite like winning the NOVEL ROCKET though!!! I’m so glad we’re together on this, I just told Charity yesterday about my dream of us going on this journey together for the rest of our careers. Sound like a plan?

      • YES! A plan, indeed. We can all teach at conferences together, and do annual retreats together, and dedicate books to each other, and maybe even cowrite, and. . . I may be getting ahead of myself. We’ll start by celebrating with each other in the little successes. The big ones come next!

  3. Go Jess!!!! I’m so proud of you!!!! That’s AWESOME!!!!!

    I’ve got mine out in a bunch of contests but haven’t heard back from any of them yet…

  4. Congratulations, Jess! Wonderful news. Glad you are pursuing your dreams even though its hard work. Wishing you many more successes.
    Love the cat pictures. The cats look so intelligent as literary critics.
    Perhaps you should have called them “Edgar” and “Poe”.

  5. Jess this is fantastic!!! Congratulations on this wonderful contest win! Looking so forward to reading more of your great writing in the future! Keep those words flowing chick!

  6. I am so excited about your news!!! (I had to restrain myself to just three exclamation points in hopes of maintaining some professionalism). Your thoughts about being “unpublished (for a full-length novel) speak to my heart because they are so similar to my own. Thanks for being transparent; it helps the rest of not feel so alone, you know? And I’m so grateful that God continues to pour blessing and encouragement into this part of your life! Can’t wait to see what’s next 🙂


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