Sometimes the life of a writer can be challenging. Most of our time is spent in isolation, birthing characters that drive stories that we'll share with the world. And once the work is birthed, then the job of distribution, and promotion, and touring, and marketing, and exposure takes place. Those books might sit in a garage or on a shelf (the goal is #1, to get those books moving) - but the whole point is for the book to sell, to be read, and experienced. It's easy to complain and weigh the downsides. The industry is going through a lot - book stores are closing, pre-publication book reviewers are shutting down, book deals are few, debates about how books are shelved continue, racism in the business is exposed, decisions to write in certain genres are criticized, readers are spending less money due to the recession, to e-book or not to e-book, and on and on.
As this year comes to an end, I'm thankful for another year of enjoying the world of writing and publishing as a whole. I'm thankful for my family, publishers, editors, publicists, fellow authors, readers, book clubs, book sellers, and all of the people involved as a team who have taken on the work that I spent countless hours crafting in total isolation. The many open arms along the way have overshadowed the negative, and one of the biggest gifts is the amazing camaraderie with fellow authors. Chatting with a person who speaks your author language shows us we're not alone - all writers experience the joys, as well as the many letdowns of the business. But through it all, the bottom line is that we are blessed to be gifted with a passion. The passion that drives our love of words.
As Christmas Day and the New Year approach, we must take time to count our blessings for our families and friends, our health, and for our work, and show gratitude. We're showing up, creating, staying involved, communicating with one another, and making our "spaces." These days shall pass and brighter days lie ahead. Seeing the bright side pays off in ways that cannot be measured. The journey is actually in complete divine order anyway.
I thank God for all of you and for my career as an author over the past ten years and beyond. In spite of it all, I write. I'm thankful. And most of all, I'm here. Bring it on 2010.
Much love to you and yours. Happy Holidays!