I would like to share some inspiration.
Two or three years ago I was following a new SF writer. He was good and I wrote and told him so and suggested a few things. He wrote back and we communicated over the following years. I loved the involvement and got the itch to try it.
I spoke to my wife on Skype who was back in the UK while I was living in Greece overcoming some health issues.I reminded her about my longterm ambition to write. She encouraged me to do so, knowing full well I was in need of an occupation to help my recovery. I agreed and set about writing.
I have always had ideas and a good imagination, so when the story started to come together and began to look as if it might have legs for a real book, I started to learn more about writing. I joined forum groups, I learned from people who knew their stuff and slowly over a year, or so, my writing improved.The book however, didn't, and rests on my hard drive to this day.
One day last November the dam burst and my desire to write went up a few notches. I sat and wrote furiously, the book which had been in my mind for some time wrote itself. From beginning to end it took me 32 days to write and publish.
I never bothered with a proof reader, except for my wife who isn't bad at the old grammar, and I didn't have it edited professionally as there was no money in my kitty for such. So, I decided to 'publish and be damned' on Amazon expecting to sell a few dozen copies and get critiqued to hell for it. I was using it as a learning curve to see how to get a book out there. It was never meant to do what it did.
I watched over the next week (Xmas) as it published and gained interest. I became totally engrossed in the Amazon stats as it slowly began to sell.
It kept on selling. Soon it was in the top fifty, then the top twenty. All of a sudden it got to the top ten and I thought, '[crap] I'm going to get trashed for this.' I'm just a beginner, no editor, no proof reader, no training - these people who have been writing for years are going to 'eat me alive' if this gets up there.
Its been hovering in the top ten for nearly a month. I have been told by people to sit back and enjoy it, but I'm not sure I deserve that. I didn't slave over the text, I didn't spend years learning the rules of CMOS, or test myself over decades of torturous writing.
I have just finished the first month on Amazon KDP and sold over 3,000 copies. I am frankly and absolutely - Amazed!
The main critiques are the lack of grammar and punctuation, but in almost every case including the negatives, the response is the same. They enjoyed the story. The emails from people have been terrific and very supportive. I am STILL waiting for the proof reader to finish the corrections. When its done it will go up and also go into POD.
I'm now writing a second book. I won't believe anything anyone tells me until that sells. If it does, I might just begin to believe in myself. Maybe I will just believe that I'm just a lucky guy who picked a good story.
Maybe tomorrow, it will be you.
So, my message today is - Don't EVER lose faith in yourself - One day, it maybe tomorrow or the next day, but when the day comes that you think there are no more surprises left - that's when it will hit you, and when it does - Good luck.