Since this post is going live right before Thanksgiving, I’ll be a bit cheesy and embrace the holiday. Unlike those who proclaim their gratefulness for things like family, a place to live and food to eat – all good sentiments – I’ll keep mine strictly writing based.
Here’s my list of things I’m thankful for:
1. Self-publishing – Because without it, I wouldn’t be an author at all. I never once had the inclination to query an agent or a publisher. Not because I didn’t believe in myself or think I was good enough to be published, but rather because I didn’t want a string of rejections to dissuade me from trusting that I was.
2. Readers – Not so long ago, I never thought that anyone else would be privy to the tales I was weaving in my head. Every person that chooses to pick up one of my novels (especially when there are so many worthy options out there) is one more person than I dreamed would ever read them.
3. Reviews – Though sometimes I question how crucial they are to the bottom line, I still enjoy hearing feedback from readers. Yes, I know that reviews aren’t for authors – they’re for other readers – but sometimes I’m surprised at what has resonated with others. Case in point: a certain scene from one of my books keeps getting quoted, when I had actually considered removing it from the final version completely.
4. Time – I’ve devoted countless hours to this endeavor, and I’m lucky that I’ve been able to do so. Just a couple of years ago, with two small children, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do this writing thing justice. So I didn’t even try. Now that they’re older, I’m able to squeeze in this second career. It’s still not easy with a full time job, but I joke that I don’t sleep much. When I do, I sometimes dream about story arcs.
5. Social Media – Without it, no one would have heard of me. At all. It’s still not far from the truth, but at least I’m kinda sorta respectable. It’s a small victory that when you Google my name, you now actually get me instead of being redirected to “Alicia Klein”. I know I don’t market my books as much as I should, but when I want to, it’s mine for the taking. I’m much more likely to make an irreverent statement on Twitter than to post a book link. Or anything about my book, actually. On my Facebook fan page, though, I’m all about the books. Or at least romance.
6. Ideas – Because without them, I’d have a serious case of writer’s block. I’m in no way an outliner, but I already know how the final installment of my series is going to play out. That’s two releases away, if you’re keeping track. And I’ve got the basis for three stand alones after that. I hope I come up with more soon, or I’ll be screwed in about three years.
7. Characters – They write themselves in some ways. I want to be friends with most of them. Others I’d like to strangle. But I’ve shocked myself at how easy it is to immerse myself in their lives like they are living, breathing people.
8. Freedom – I ultimately answer to myself and no one else. I’m not confronted with deadlines or expectations from outside sources. I don’t release a novel until I’m happy with it. The final product is something that I can be proud of (and should be), because it has me written all over it.
9. Stability – I don’t rely on writing to pay my bills. I don’t have to. This means that I write what I want to instead of jumping on the trend bandwagon in hopes of becoming popular. I’d rather be obscure than feel like I sold out.
10. Sales – Every. Single. One. Enough said.