I think I’ve mentioned the Ego Shelf once or twice before. We joke about authors and their egos, and there is some truth to the jabs. Authors do tend toward the egotistical. After all, we think our words are good enough that you should pay money just to read them.
But the ego shelf isn’t about feeding the ego. (Not just about that, at least.) It’s not “Look upon this shelf and bask in my awesomeness!” It’s not about whose shelf is longer. It’s about … let’s call it positive reinforcement.
That shelf holds a copy of almost[1. I never received my author copy of the French edition of Goblin Hero, and I haven’t quite convinced myself to shell out the $30 to order a copy.] every magazine, anthology, and novel (both English and translated) I’ve ever done, along with my Writers of the Future trophy there on the left. And you know what? I’m damn proud of that shelf.
I’ve been told pride is a sin, and I realize pride can get you into trouble. But I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with taking a moment to feel good about what I’ve accomplished over the past fifteen years. It’s a good reminder, something to get me through the slumps. I’ve spent ten months working on The Snow Queen’s Shadow, and it helps to look up and remember that in a year or so I’ll be adding another book to the shelf, and people all over the world will (I hope) be reading and enjoying it.
I’d love to someday have an entire Ego Bookcase. And it would be fun to add a few more trophies. But no matter where you are in your career, I think it’s important to recognize and honor the work you’ve done, to feel good about that. Even when I only had a few semi-pro magazines on display … heck, back before I sold anything, I taped my rejection letters up because I was proud of them too. Because they meant I was writing and submitting and working, dammit!
Writing is hard. It’s okay to be proud of your work. Not only okay, I think it’s important.
Oh — and those of you with keen eyes or good monitors might have spotted something there on the right. Let me give you a close-up.
Oh, yes. Author copies of Red Hood’s Revenge [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon] have arrived at the Hines household, and there was much rejoicing. Don’t they look pretty all lined up together like that?
To celebrate, I’ve updated my web site with the teaser for The Snow Queen’s Shadow. This is the same text that appears in the back of Red Hood. If you want to see what’s coming next summer, feel free to take a peek.