I think every writer has a moment (or several) when they wonder why the hell we do what we do. At least all the writers I know have these moments. I certainly do. Sometimes it’s writer’s block. Or we think everything we’ve written is crap (which, if it’s a first draft it undoubtedly is). Or we feel like imposters, always waiting for someone to point a finger at us and call us out as frauds. Because I can’t be a real writer. Most days I don’t even feel like a real grown-up.
I’ve had several of these self-defeating moments lately, for reasons I won’t bore you with. Mainly because… well, they’re boring reasons. They bore me, so I’m fairly certain they’ll bore you, too. And—this is the most important reason—there’s nothing I can do about them. No amount of talking, or writing, or whining, or whatever will change the outcome. So, they’re in the past and that’s where they’ll stay… until tonight when I can’t sleep and I’m lying in bed staring at the ceiling contemplating two things: if I can pull of a temporary insanity defense for smothering my husband with his pillow because he won’t stop snoring, and, second, every single thing that’s gone awry the past year and how I could have changed or prevented it… but that’s a blog post for another day (or a conversation to have with my therapist…Ha!).
But then one day, I receive two emails from people I don’t know and email addresses I don’t recognize. I open one and I start to read…
I’m not sure what made me choose to read your book as it seems geared towards a younger set. All I can call it is fate.
I survived 15 years of abuse from my first marriage. I don’t believe I fully accepted in my heart how devastating and damaging it truly was until I read this book.
I cried, I raged and I starting healing. A mind can shelter and hide from even the most evil there is. Thank you for making it possible for me to release it where it belongs… the past.
Then I cry and remember exactly why I write. Not for money (although, some of that is always nice.) Not for fame. I’m an introvert. Fame would likely kill me. Not because it’s easy. It isn’t. Not even a little bit. But for those emails that hit my inbox on a day like today when I’m seriously thinking of chucking the whole gig and digging out a business suit and going back to work in a cube (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
The book the emailer references is a very personal one to me. And to have people respond positively to it means more than I could ever express. I’m amazed at times that something I wrote stirred so much emotion in another person. I mean, I’d hoped readers would love the book. And, some did. I dreamed it would touch someone. Help in some small way. And, I’m overwhelmed with emotion each time a reader tells me that it did…
I just finished your book and WOW!!! I don’t know how many times I cried especially towards the end. I’ve been in my share of abusive relationships so this book touched me. It was like I could remember feeling what the characters were going through at the exact moment throughout the entire book.
Did I think everyone would like it? Well, I’d hoped they would. But, logically, I knew not everyone would love it. Or even like it. Or finish it, for that matter. And that’s okay (mostly). We have different tastes, different life experiences, different… everything. So, no. I didn’t expect everyone to like it. But for the readers who did? Thank you.
Thank you for reading my work. Thank you for spending time with my characters.
Thank you for your emails. Your notes. The song links you send me that remind you of the story or a scene or a character.
You have no idea how deeply your words touch me. How much they mean.
How they keep me writing because I know someone out there enjoyed something I wrote. That it touched them. And, in some small way, has connected us.
One of the readers above ended her email like this…
You rock. after I finish this email I’m gonna stalk you on Facebook and see if there is a newsletter I can sign up for. You’ve got yourself a fangirl here… I think that authors are like freaking rock stars.
Nope. YOU are the rock star! I write words… you breathe life into them. Without you, nothing I write would mean anything. So, thank you!
The other reader ended her email with this line:
We live in brighter days now. Blessings to you and your family always.
By this point, after reading two emails, I was crying so hard it was difficult to read the computer screen. And, really, nothing I write can truly express how much these two readers’ emails mean to me.
So, if you’ve read a book that touched you in some small way, it doesn’t have to be life changing, it can be the littlest thing, please let the author know. You’ll never know how much your email will brighten their day. Because I promise you, it will.
And to the readers who emailed me: Blessings to you and your families. And, from the bottom of my heart…
Reader Submitted Playlist Song:
Hey, everyone! Don’t forget to check out my latest novel, The Stock, at Swoon Reads! You can read it for free, along with other great books! Then, cast your vote for it to when a publishing contract with Swoon Reads, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing. I’d be so grateful! Happy reading!