I have shared with you about finding your own groove, learning to write in ways that work for you, and sticking it out when your aren’t making the money you want to. Now I am going to share with you what I consider the biggest perks of writing. No one limits your potential and everyone cheers you on.
I clearly remember the exact moment I realized my book was accepted by Cozy Cat Press for publication. I opened the email and read it. I was sure I misunderstood, so I read it again. I held my breath and read it again. I was waiting for the friend I carpooled with. She got in the car and I handed my cell phone to her. I asked her to read the email and tell me what she thought it said. She read it and began hooting and hollering. I stared at her. It did say what I thought it said.
Just to be on the safe side, I went home and called my writing coach, Kathie Giorgio. I sent her a copy of the email. She called me back and confirmed that Mr. Tea and the Traveling Teacup was actually going to be published. I imagined that moment many times. I thought I would jump around and scream. I didn’t. I was in shock. It was really going to happen. Wow.
A few years later, my second book was published. Kathie Giorgio asked me, “Do you feel like a real author now?” I didn’t. I still have trouble believing that I am an author. Maybe it’s because I still work 11 hours a day teaching. Maybe it’s because I still have a phobia about commas. I don’t know. I still see myself as a work in progress.
A few years ago a friend of mine had a daughter in college. The daughter loved to write and was working on a book. My friend wanted me to read the book. I explained that I would trust Kathie’s opinion over mine. The daughter became Kathie’s student. She struggled through class work for college and writing her book. She worked hard. She finished a book. She sent it out to publishers. This week her mother told me a publisher accepted it. She’s going to be published. I am thrilled for her. Her dream of being an author is coming true. Fresh out of college and she is going to be published. Life is good. I realized I am more excited for her than I was for myself. I am more excited for her than for kids I know who graduated from college. Why? Because she is going to be able to grow in a way that a job with a corporation won’t allow. She will answer to herself. She will be able to explore the depths of her creativity.
As a teacher, I watched year after year as good teachers got laid off. I watched others in different professions give their all to a job only to lose it. They felt betrayed. They felt used and unappreciated and devalued. Someone decided what they had to offer wasn’t of importance to the company any more.
Don’t misunderstand me. Authors go through their share of rejection. Many of us received quite a number of rejection letters before the final letter of acceptance. Good authors have failed to sell enough books and been dropped by publishers only to be picked up by another one. Nevertheless, our fans cheer us on. People send us emails and Facebook messages asking for the next book. Other authors encourage us and celebrate with us. When you first get the news you are being published, you might feel alone and overwhelmed. You may be, like I was, slightly afraid to believe it. However, there are plenty of Facebook and Goodreads groups out there. You can find other authors from your genre and even from your publisher. You can grow as part of a group – a group that wants you to succeed.
I am sure authors aren’t the only group like this. Other crafts people may do the same. However, it is unlikely that any corporation will. Writers are usually people who love to read. We read each other’s work. We fall in love with new authors. I always felt like there was “so little time and so many books.” Today I feel that way even more because I am friends with the authors I read. I know their struggles. I know their triumphs. Now I will have the chance to watch the daughter of my friend grow. I will devour her book and encourage her to hurry and finish the next. There is no feeling in the world like this. I cannot think of anything to compare it to. Becoming a published author will be whatever you choose to make it. It will take time. However, you don’t have to do it alone. We’re out there cheering for you!