A Thank You Card and learning about adapting to change, persistence, and perseverance. Lessons from a reader and two bestselling authors!
Sometimes being an independent author is difficult. Not the writing part (although that is quite challenging in its own right), but the other aspects of the business of writing. Not only does an indie author have to write, but they also are the first editor, primary marketer, sales person, and just about every other role all rolled into one. I’m not complaining, mind you, just stating the facts.
In my social media feeds, I often hear writers express the frustration of not knowing whom, if anyone reads their work. If someone does read it (as evidenced by book sales), the hope is that a review materializes. More often than not, it doesn’t and the author is left wondering what readers think of their work.
I’ve experienced the same issues. Luckily, I don’t write to make a living. As most of my longtime readers know, I wrote The Gemstone Chronicles for my grandchildren, not to become the next bestselling author (though if lots of people want to buy the books and make that happen, I’ll happily accept it).
Jingle in the Park and Nate
Where is all this leading? Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a couple of things happen to reaffirm that writing my books allows me to reach readers and how adapting to change, persistence, and patience are necessary. A little background, first. In December 2019, I participated in Jingle in the Park in Suwanee, Georgia. Jingle in the Park is an event for the HappyFeat organization. Here is the link to learn all about Happyfeat and its wonderful programs for special needs individuals. Despite the cold December day, I set up my booth (fought the wind a little bit), sold books, and generally had a great time!
One of the visitors to my booth was a young man named Nate. Nate wandered over to my table and we struck up a conversation. Rocks interest Nate, and, since my books involve gemstones, I had a few of my collection on display. Long story short, Nate ended up purchasing Book One: The Carnelian and, as part of his purchase, received a carnelian to take home with him.
Imagine my surprise when early January 2020, I received an email from Nate’s mother asking how she could order an autographed copy of Book Two: The Amethyst. We worked it out and I sent the book, along with a few additional stones for Nate’s collection (after all, who wouldn’t want an amethyst for happiness and a bloodstone for healing?).
Where is the affirmation, you are probably asking. Well, around the middle of January, I received a thank you card from Nate. Handwritten and with a hand drawn picture of The Carnelian cover in the card, it absolutely made my day! It isn’t often (at least for me) that an author gets confirmation that they’ve reached a reader. Thank you Nate!
The second part happened as part of the monthly meeting at the Atlanta Writers Club. I attended the January 18, 2020 meeting and enjoyed listening to Lynn Cullen and Joshilyn Jackson talk about their books and experiences as authors. Lynn had great insights to adapting to change and one comment from Joshilyn Jackson caught my attention. She recently submitted a YA novel and received numerous rejection letters. Not that I’m happy about her rejection letters (and I hope she won’t be mad I mentioned it), but it just shows that even bestselling authors have a tough time of it. They stick it out and I have to as well.
I’ll continue with my three works in progress and see where they lead and I encourage all my writer friends to do the same. Regardless of where my works in progress lead me, I’m grateful for Nate’s awesome thank you card and to Lynn Cullen and Joshilyn Jackson for demonstrating that perseverance, patience, and adapting to change pay off!