Since I received my first book contract back in 2005, life has been different. Not only have I had two novels published, but I’ve developed friendships with some amazing authors, had the opportunity to meet the friendliest readers at book signings and book clubs, and have enjoyed speaking at conferences, libraries, on radio shows and to women’s groups. This immersion in the writing life has certainly been exciting and God has truly blessed me in my publishing journey, there is no doubt about it.
On the flip side, and there is always a flip side, as much as I love getting out there and helping to promote my book, being published shouldn’t be all about receptions and book signings. It’s supposed to be about writing books. Really, about writing stories that touch you, the reader, and take you away from the everyday realities of life for a little while.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the business and the busyness of the “published” writing life. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the worrying about how many books have been sold, getting the word out, what stores are carrying the books, and what the bottom line is.
The bottom line, for the writer, is really supposed to be about the words. I remember those. Words that write themselves on the walls of our hearts.
This past weekend, I fell in love with the new story I am writing. I got up early and started working on it at around 5:00 in the morning. During that time, I forgot about how many copies will sell and how many stores and libraries will be carrying the book and I got caught up with the plight of a character who is looking for… what?
You’ll have to wait to find out, but I love this aspect of being a writer. It’s the part that matters most. In some ways it is the only part. Other things are important in the publishing world, but a published novel can’t exist without an author who sits down and falls in love with a story, so that ultimately you can fall in love too.