It's been an interesting few weeks for me. I've been across the country and back, lived in a couple different houses, driven up and down the Eastern Seaboard (not for fun, sadly), uprooted the kids, and now, finally, have gotten my husband and myself and the kids and pets all in one place, in one state, and am settling in. It's not perfect yet, but with every box unpacked, every beloved knicknack placed, I can feel myself relaxing. Getting comfy. Every laugh from the kids, every precious item appearing in a place that it will come to inhabit, is a small wonder for me, letting me know we're headed the right way. That everything is going to be just fine.
It's been like that with writing, at least for me. My path to publication, in the great scheme of things, was pretty fast. So there's been a lot of learning along the way for me, and with the rush of three books in two years, it's taken some time for me to start settling in. You know...to get comfy. Though the dizzying excitement of that first sale, the first cover, the first sighting on a bookshelf, has faded to warm pride and pleasure, and though it would be (and sometimes is) easy to get more focused on the stress of production and deadlines than on just enjoying being creative, I still find that my journey into writerdom, if that's actually a word, is marked with the occasional shining gem of a thing that reminds me how cool this all is. Just when I need it, it always seems like some small wonder or other will turn up, either teaching me something new, or helping a little of that Brand New Author glow return...or both.
As you might have guessed, I had one of those moments today. I was combing through my email, entering my newsletter subscriptions into my contacts, smiling over a sweet email that a reader had sent me, when I realized two things: since Dark Highland Fire was released just a few weeks ago, I've been flooded with newsletter subscriptions. And every last one of my reader emails this months has been asking what's next in the series, and when they'll be able to get it.
Stupid though it sounds, it dawned on me, all of a sudden, that I am developing a readership. Not just a few people picking up the book on a whim, but...an actual readership. People who look for books with my name on them. People who might like to know what I'm doing. Like...with that newsletter I hadn't quite figured out what to do with yet! So I spent the afternoon fussing and fiddling, and came up with a nice newsletter to send to this groups of lovely people who enjoy my writing, and who sometimes send me notes letting me know. I made plans to update my website AGAIN with more review quotes and a new blurb for the upcoming book, even though I just updated a few weeks ago. And I let myself bask a little in that small wonder that these have become necessary things...because now there are readers out there who actually notice.
It's just a little thing, I suppose, but for me, some of the most wonderful moments in my career thus far have been when the abstract becomes real: a letter from a fan, an awesome review, and of course, just picking up my own book in a bookstore and holding it in my hands. Today's simple realization of a nicely growing career let me catch a little of my New Author Glow back once again. I think I'm headed the right way...and everything is going to be just fine:-)
What are some of your own small wonders, the little things that have meant a lot to you?