SPFBO 3 – An Experience

Back in 2017, I entered the first novel I’d ever written into the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. It was titled the Last Days of the Wanderer, and it was a hot mess. I self-published the manuscript because of the competition as an attempt to get my work in front of discerning eyes. I was so very new to this writing thing, and I wanted to know if I had any talent. I have since learned there are far better ways to learn this and far better ways to improve.


It was assigned to Pornokitsch and within weeks of sending Jared my book, he posted an article titled, “Some Unwanted Writing Advice.” 75% of that article, I would swear was directed at Wanderer. I had made SO many mistakes in my first foray into publishing, and I was instantly ashamed. The book hadn’t been ready. I hadn’t done my homework as to what went into a self-published book. When his review of my first fifty pages finally hit, it was kind. Reading between the lines, I inferred, “Ehh. It was fine.”

That was enough for me.

I pulled my book from Amazon, shelved the book, and moved on to another project. I’ve since written two more novels, one of which I queried and got some interest. I’m editing it again before I get at querying again.

My point: I had a rough first experience. My first book wasn’t up to it, but I learned, grew from it, and moved on. I’m now part of a larger community, reviewing for Booknest.eu and consequently SPFBO 5.

You wrote a book. You freaking did it. You took a story out of your head and put it on paper.

That is a big friggin deal. Whether you struck out or you win it all, never stop.

The world needs your stories.

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