About halfway through, I said “God? Are you listening to all of this?”
God said, “YES.” Then He proved it.
Two days ago I got this message from my website (the other one for the books www.lifeinthepalacesaga.com)
“Hello. I have enjoyed reading the first 3 (4) books in the series and felt they encouraged and inspired my own faith. I look forward to the next book and hope it will not be long until it’s released. Continue writing and don’t get discouraged.”
I read the message. Then I sat and stared at my computer for a few minutes.
The following points of awesomeness became apparent:
People that I’ve never met read my books
This is something I should think about on a more regular basis. Intellectually I do know it. Every day multiple people download my books, many of them pay for the privilege. When I stop to remember that strangers read the words I wrote, I get all tingly inside.
People that I’ve never met like my books enough to read all of them
I think my characters rock. But it’s kinda like sending your pre 1-A kid on the school bus in the morning, you just send them out into the world and pray like crazy it all works out okay. You’re just hoping that the teacher likes them as much as you do.
Then I remembered that my books are actually good. Readers like them. Quite a lot of readers like them. Again, since a fair number of those readers email/comment on Facebook/message me, intellectually I do know this. But every time I’m reminded it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I love knowing that out there are people who love Seth and Chloe as much as I do.
My books inspire readers
This was a goal. I happen to think that God rocks. I don’t think that He needs me to give anyone the hard sell but I love it when I am reminded how awesome He is. It’s just as exciting to know that I reminded someone else.
There are people waiting for the next book
This is huge. Two months ago writing books was my fulltime 9-5ish activity. Now I write advertising copy and squeeze writing books into the other parts of my day. Sometimes it feels like getting remarried and continuing to have an affair with your ex. Knowing that someone’s waiting for the books makes it all seen purposeful again.
Then I remember that I started doing this because I LOVE writing. And there was nothing else I’d rather do with my time. All of a sudden nine o’clock isn’t too late to sit down at the computer.
Someone besides my mom reads this blog
I put a lot of thought into my books. I spend hours planning the story arch and many hours editing to make them perfect. I put very little thought into this blog. I write it because I like doing it. I honestly thought it was only read by my friends. Having other people read it makes me feel like a real writer.
As I sat there basking in the totally awesomeness of my life, I felt God giving me a knowing nod.
I took a deep breath and said “I know I asked whether I was real writer if I write advertising copy all day long. And I asked if it was worth it to keep writing books. And I wondered how I’d get the last book in the series finished if I was working fulltime.”
I could feel God waiting for me to get to the point. We’d both been there when I did all the previous moping and complaining.
I knew exactly what God was trying to tell me. To get over myself and stop feeling sorry for myself.
“Thank you for reminding me that I’m a writer because I write books people enjoy reading. That are worth writing because they bring glory into the world. And I should keep doing it because that’s what I was put here to do.”
In my fairly active imagination, God gave me a knowing nod.
“And all the money comes from You,” I acknowledged. “So if I didn’t sell the movie rights to my books and make enough money to put my kids through college yet, it’s because You’re waiting until after they’ve made all the Hunger Games movies so Life in the Palace is free to be the next big franchise.”
At that point, with me planning my red carpet speech, God and I both knew that I was back on track.
(If you’ve ever wondered whether it makes a difference to authors to hear from their readers- the answer is yes. And thank you Charlotte Boyle, wherever you are in the world, you made my week.)