August 4, 2016 in Dag

I am officially certified

I recently did some training. Not anything connected to my writing. It was actually a day job sponsored thing. I’ll spare you the details. It’s hard enough getting readers to this blog at the best of times, and I don’t believe that adding more about this will do much to entice anybody here.

The training was ok. It was in a subject area that I consider myself reasonably knowledgeable on so luckily it didn’t strain my brain too much (and given my current state of brain strain, that’s definitely a good thing). Still, I did learn a few things, and in my book learning a few things is always a good outcome.

But without a doubt, there was one clear highlight of this training. When everything was done and I had successfully completed every activity, I was able to print out a special certificate of completion. How cool is that? Of course, I did it without delay. It now takes pride of place on my desk. I’m quick to lift it up and show it around the office with pride. I’m even thinking of laminating it (admittedly I won’t be the first person in the office to do this).

Getting certificates is good – even if it is for little training programs that don’t really mean all that much. You feel like you’ve achieved something, and you have an official document to prove it. Then again, there are plenty of other achievements you can make that never get officially certified – and maybe never will (or should).

I published my first book over five years ago. I didn’t get any big fanfare (except maybe inside my head). I didn’t get any certificate saying that I was now an official published writer. I didn’t have to pass any sort of external accreditation. I just published my book and – whoosh – I figure that makes me an official published writer.

Of course, I didn’t take this for granted. I didn’t assume I could publish just anything in order to give myself that accolade. I made sure my story was carefully reviewed and edited and proofed, to ensure that it was the equal quality-wise of anything else that was out there. I put in as much love and care as I possibly could, to make sure it was something I was really proud of.

Now, five years later, I have released many more books. I’ve received numerous indications that my work is worthwhile, both through reader feedback and other more “official” commendations, such as shortlistings in writing competitions and attention from publishers. So I may not have ever received that certificate but I don’t think it matters. As far as I’m concerned, I am officially certified.

I am a published author.

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