Somedays I sit at my computer and realize how lucky I am. I realize this every day when I'm looking at my kids or my husband but for this post, I'm talking about my job. What I do. My passion. Writing.
Writing is a funny business to be in. Things can change so quickly. You can go from publishing your first book and having no readers, to Amazon Top 100, sometimes in a matter of days. You can go from having multiple books out, Top 100 books to "OH MY GOD I'M NOT SELLING ANY BOOKS" just ask quickly. It can take years to make any progress (it took eight for me), or for some it feels like it happens over night.
I've been asked for advice a lot but it's hard to give because there really is no magic formula. And if there is, can someone tell me, because I definitely don't have it. I've heard industry professionals say if you write a great book, someone will want it and though we'd all like to think that, I just don't believe it's true. I've read damn good books from critique partners and beta readers and spoken with editors I know, and there are some incredible books out there that are not selling. I've also heard that books won't sell if they're not good, or the writing isn't strong, and that's not true either.
Being an author is hard. Writing is hard, or it should be. When they say you need thick skin, they aren't joking. There are no promises. No guarantees. No easy answers.
And things are changing quickly, which makes it even more uncertain.
But I love it.
There's nothing like loving your story or characters so much that they're always on your mind. Loving them so much, its painful to step away from the computer, or you crank out thousands of words a day and it never feels like enough. There's nothing like being connected to a character so deeply that you feel along with them, and telling their story becomes just as important as breathing. There's nothing like reading over something you wrote and feeling proud of it. There's nothing like getting an email from a reader who says your book touched them or inspired them or just made a bad day better. It's those things that make the hard times worth it. Because every day, it's hard. But every day it's wonderful too, sometimes you just have to look a little deeper, or try a little harder to focus on those incredible parts.
I've been doing this a long time. I did it when every single day I was getting rejection emails from agents or editors. I kept doing it when I got messages that said, "I would love to work on this book...but there's not a market." I do it when things are going great, and when the rug gets ripped out from under me, because writing is a part of who I am. I've tried to explain that to friends and family and it's hard to understand if you're not the one feeling it. I guess most things are like that though.
There was really no point to my post today. I just had a great day, and read over something I'm proud of, and I realized how very lucky I am. I'm going to try and do that more often :)