There are lots of reasons for pursuing a dream as an author, lots of reasons for wanting to become published. There’s the validation that comes when Someone Important Somewhere says that your work is good. Not just good, but good enough for them to invest in, to typeset, print, create cover art for, and distribute for you. That’s a boost to the old ego that you can’t get any other way
There’s the thrill of seeing your name on that cover. The joy of getting letters from readers, many of whom have been touched in some way by what you write and who share bits of their own lives with you. There’s the excitement of attending writer’s conferences, the experiences you have while doing book signings. The camaraderie of writer and reader friends you make along the way. The rush of putting “autographed copy” stickers on the first books you sign, the nervousness of doing interviews on radio and TV, the high when you get a great review, the lows when you get a bad one . . .
And let’s be practical–there’s the validation that comes when a publisher sends you a check and says that your work is that good. Good enough to send you cold hard cash before the book even hits the bookshelf. And, of course, royalties that make you believe that there really are people out there reading your work.
But one of the greatest thrills of being a published author–one I never thought about until it started happening–is the thrill of hearing from old friends with whom you’ve lost touch over the years.
Two very dear friends have found me through my website in the past couple of weeks, and hearing from each of them has left me giddy with excitement. As giddy as I was when I held my first book in my hands. As excited as I was when I got on the plane for my very first writer’s conference.As touched as I am by many of the letters I get from readers.
Colette and I have been friends for over 20 years; Shellee and I for more than a decade. Colette and I were friends back when I used to just dream about writing, before I scarcely dared to talk about writing aloud, back when I was pretty sure published authors were made of an Elusive Something Special (something I didn’t have in my genetic makeup.) Shellee was there when I began to tentatively pursue a writing career, and she was one of the first people to know about “The Call” the day it came.
These are friends who know me, warts and all–and in my book, there’s nothing quite so precious. But they both moved away (and I moved around….and around) and despite the best of intentions, we lost touch–until now.
No doubt about it, this is one of the greatest perks of being an author yet!