In the beginning of my writing career I had a come-to-Jesus moment, a crossroads. In that moment, I had to decide whether or not I was a writer -- and who I was writing for.
And my answer at the time, was YES! I'm a writer. And even if there's ONE person who wants to read my books, I'll write for them.
I think God took me literally. If I had to go back, I would've changed "one" to "one million."
I wonder if I'll ever get there; some days I doubt it.
I'm sure every writer alive can empathize with this phase. You have some success but you wish you had a lot more. You wish there was a sign from heaven to tell you that you are doing the right thing with your life and your time, that all the sacrifices won't be for nought and that you will reap rewards of your hard work, dedication, and persistence.
But no sign (that you recognize as a sign) comes.
Then you're left with your laptop, your hope for your greatness, and your reality which is less than that. You stare at yet ANOTHER freaking blank page and prepare to start the next story or chapter or book and you ask yourself "Why on God's green acres am I doing this to myself...again!"
Why you filling your mind with hope of a NY Times Bestseller or the day when you'll look at your sales report and see 50,000 in one month...enough to quit so you can do what you love full time.
You then respond, "I can't effing help myself! Make it stop!"
And then you write write write because you have a sick, twisted, compulsion to put words on paper and share them with the world--but a small part is begging you--somebody please make it stop.
But then what would you do if it stopped?
Bake cupcakes? Fix Mustang engines? Take up wine tasting?
Nothing else will ever fit...because you're a writer. It's who you are. It's what you do.
So you have to just keep plugging through the tough times until you write "the one." Until then, find the good parts of the journey and reflect on those. The good reviews. The readers who get your characters. The readers who love your characters. The readers who love you for writing your characters. In the big scheme of your writing career, nothing else matters.
And they are out there. Somewhere. It'd be nice if they left more reviews, sent more tweets, or left more blog comments. Readers don't realize that their review isn't just their views on a book...but for authors it just may be just the source of energy an author needs to get through days like this.
I read one of my old reviews today on Situation Critical:
"FBI, international espionage, romance. This author is good enough to make the Vince Flynn, Brad Thor fans happy."
Thanks to whomever wrote that. You got me through this day. Onto Book 4.
I hope this blog gets someone through theirs.
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