It’s cold in here. I’m sitting in the corner, bundled up as I stave off the air conditioner that refuses to quit running. Thanks to an unseasonably warm Florida fall, most buildings are keeping their spaces unbearably cool. Perhaps this is our only means for experiencing fall weather here in the Sunshine State.
The cafe is loud, but I don’t mind because I can smell the stories in the air. The scent of imagination mingles with that of my Cinnamon Spice hot tea, and I feel heady with delight.
If I had my choice, I’d hunker down in more intimate location. Barnes and Noble is a chain, and the cookie cutter nature of this space is less delightful. But still…the books.
I love books. I love words. I love imaginative storytelling.
As a new author, I have such a deep appreciation for the work that went into these books. I had no idea. Writing looks romantic on TV. It’s grittier in real life.
Writing isn’t just sitting in front of a typewriter in a quiet, breezy room tapping rhythmically on a typewriter. Mainly because no one uses typewriters anymore.
But also because writing is awful lot of sitting in front of the screen and staring at a blank page until some muse chooses to show. It’s hard, and solitary, and feels an awful lot like bleeding openly for the world to see.
Then you put your book out there, and you ask everyone what they think. And they can choose whether or not to love this work of your heart.
In short, writing is a profession of vulnerability.
Writers pour their hearts and souls into their stories, and then, if they’re willing to wait and fight for their stories, they find a publisher willing to print their words on paper. After all that, they turn their books in to the waiting publisher, and it’s all VICTORY! YOU DID IT!
Now get to work.
Authoring a book is more than just writing pretty words, and finding a publisher. There is marketing and promotion, pulling together a launch team, and finding endorsements.
Writers have to get their books in front of people who are willing to read them.
Launching a book may be the hardest and scariest part of the publishing journey. It is the moment when writers feel the most vulnerable, because this is when others decide is the work is worthy of their endorsement.
In the rocky soil of Texas, there’s a yearly beauty that springs up. Bluebonnets carpet the hot ground each spring, blanketing the state in vibrant color, and they always spring up from the rocks.
In an environment that seems completely unconducive to growth, bluebonnets defy the odds and bring beauty to the landscape.
You writers are doing the same. The terrain is rocky, saturated with others already fulfilling publishing dreams, and it seems that everyone else is springing up, and you wonder if there’s any space for you.
Dear writers – I want you to know that I’m standing in the gap for you. I see more than ever before the fight it takes to get a book to market, and I want you to know I’m on your side.
You’re doing hard things. You’re writing every day, sharing stories and messages with a world that needs to hear them.
You’re facing rejection, fighting to get your words out into a void already full of great works. But you believe you have something to add, so you don’t give up. This is hard, and I admire your tenacity.
You’re putting yourself in vulnerable positions, emailing friends, and perfect strangers, to ask for endorsements. You’re asking people to decide if your words are worthy of a recommendation, and it’s terrifying. I see you, and I’m for you.
You’re sharing your gifts with a small group, but longing to see that message spread to a wiser audience. As you seek to plant yourself in this rocky terrain, I want you to know I see you and you’re doing a good job.
Writer friends – don’t be afraid of the hard things. Keep typing those words and sending those awkward emails. Keep putting yourself out there, because beauty grows in the rocky places, and your dreams are beautiful.