I posted Soul Lost on Kindle with a great deal of trepidation. So few people had actually read what I had written; I was desperately afraid they would find out the truth. Fantasy is not to everyone’s taste anyway; but what if my friends read it and thought I was a terrible writer? What if I saw in their eyes that they were trying not to tell me I had wasted my time and theirs? That I had no talent?
My friend Michelle, a published author herself, read it five years ago, to proofread and offer constructive criticism, and she told me that I was talented. Talented! If only it were true! Still I was afraid. One good friend telling me what I wanted most to hear? Could I build a career on that?
Last summer she went live on Kindle with her book, and she came back to me with encouragement to do the same. She could so easily have said nothing, and I would never have pressed the issue. But she didn’t. She said I was a great writer. Great? Really?
I edited and edited, trying to make it the best I could until my husband said, “Enough already. Just do it.” So I did.
My first venture into true writer’s joy was the comments from a work friend. She came in the Monday after I went live and said, “I have a bone to pick with you. I almost took the day off to finish your book. The first time ever.” She was done by the next day and told me she loved it. Loved it!
Truth is, one person liking it that much was almost enough. I can’t make much money on only one fan, but it was worth all the time and effort to have one person enjoy it. Then… another friend called to say it wasn’t her usual genre, but she couldn’t put it down. Her husband was frustrated because she wanted to keep reading instead of spending time with him. Good thing it’s a quick read. I wouldn’t want to cause stress in their marriage. Last night she called to say her mother loved it too. We had fun texting about a movie version and picking actors.
There have been others who have called with good reviews and encouraging comments, even though most of my friends do not read fantasy and would not usually pick a novel with a time travel element. I love them all for their support and encouragement.
So I am experiencing true joy. The thing I crave most to do–write–has given other people pleasure. They think I’m good; they think I’m talented; they want more from me. They want a sequel. I am so happy!