.So this is a follow up to a Facebook post I made in my readers group the other day. Not so much a follow up as an elaboration of the sentiment that can't quite be encapsulated in a Facebook (or any social media) post. This isn't me gushing, or pandering, or writing words that people want to hear, but rather a genuine feeling that begs to be expressed. So after that build up, here we go.
It's a strange thing to have "readers." It isn't strange that people are reading, mind you, but endlessly weird that they're reading a book that I wrote. I was thinking about this the other night while shopping Amazon for books that interested me. I put about 20 in my cart and then promptly realized that I was crazy (and not rich), and therefore had to hit the "Save for later" button about 18 times. But in that process of one-clicking I took time to read reviews, check out author bios, look over numbers of stars, and all the things conscientiousness readers so before spending hard-earned money. And then it occurred to me in all my dissociative bliss: people had gone through that process with a book I wrote! I was, for my readers, on the other side of that exchange I had engaged in since before I can remember. In other words, I was the author, and they were considering the words in my mind and heart to fill the digital pages of their Kindles and iPhones.
And then I had two feelings rush over me simultaneously: a tremendous sense of responsibility to make sure I was putting out the best product I could; and a feeling of gratitude like I had never quite felt before. Sometimes writers can get so caught up in the sacrifice and demands of writing that we think someone owes us something - almost as if we've borrowed against our own time and effort, and now it's our readers who must repay that creative debt (with interest) in order to make our time worth it. But it doesn't work like that; not even a little bit. I realized that to write well I had to accept (and almost anticipate) that no one would read what I wrote. That isn't the same as being pessimistic or planning to fail. What I mean to say is that I had to write what I had to write, and not try to please anyone in particular, hoping to pander to an audience to make money off of them. And once I did that, at least so far, I've found my own form of success. I want to reach more people, and I plan to do so as the months and years roll along, and as more and more book covers bear my name, but until then I say this to my current readers: thank you so very much for making this possible.