I am an objective-driven person. As it relates to writing, I don’t write just to write. Particularly since I started publishing my own work via Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace, I write with an objective. To get my books out there, to get feedback, to believe I am writing good stuff, and to, one day, figure out a way to make some money at this thing called writing. One of the reasons I got sluggish about writing over the past couple of months is that I wasn’t seeing the objective anymore. Without anything “new” out there and without running any promotions, or at least any that were working, I wasn’t seeing much in the way of sales and not a whole lot of new reviews. And with my struggles to complete anything, I wasn’t seeing anything “new” on the horizon that would help meet my objective.
So, I withered for a time. A couple of months of not believing the time and effort was worth it. I’ve turned the page on that, however. Last night, I finished my final edit of Northville. I’ve got one more editor to go — my sister is a pretty incredible copy editor. She finds all of the typos nobody else saw. And then it will be on to the next chapter in Lily, Pete and Sophie’s story. I’m undecided whether it will be a three novella series or one novel. That’s my next decision. I may just keep writing until I’ve got no more of their story to tell and see where it ends up.
My confession? I’m a praise slut. OK. There, I said. I’m a praise whore. In person, when somebody tells me I done good, I’m embarrassed by it. But behind the privacy of a computer screen, I can’t get enough of it and you can’t imagine how good it feels to read things like this:
Forty-something Kel is experiencing a mid-life crisis, but it’s not the typical crisis of wanting a sports car and a much younger girlfriend. His crisis revolves around a seemingly loveless marriage, two kids who don’t care if he’s around or not, and a job he despises. One night, after a conversation with a stranger in a bar, Kel decides to embark on a journey that may give him enlightenment, or if nothing else, a few days away from his unhappy household. Kel reaches his destination of Santo Cielo, Baja California, and seeks out Father Santos. Over the next week, the old priest teaches Kel lessons that have long been forgotten, and more importantly, shows him how happiness can be found in the simplest of things. In the ensuing weeks and months, Kel wrestles with what he has versus what he wants and needs, and agonizes over his needs versus the needs of his family.
This is a tremendously well-written story of one man’s struggle to find harmony and contentment, even where it may not exist. Eye-opening and thought-provoking, it delivers a powerful narrative of a man hurting inside, who only desires happiness for himself and his family. This book spoke to me (on so many levels) as few others have. There are some pearls of wisdom which the reader can take and apply to their own lives, especially the concept behind the title. An absolutely wonderful book. Five stars just aren’t enough!
That second paragraph describes exactly why I ended up writing Weed Therapy the way I did and my hope that it would reach people in a deeper way than just having read a story that was a throw-away. (Yes, Beaver, if you read this, this is one story that had a point.) The individual who wrote those two paragraphs is an unknown reader who has now read both of my short story collections and both of my novels, giving each of them five stars with glowing reviews to accompany the ratings. That I have struck a chord with somebody who doesn’t know me is meeting the objective.
A co-worker just let me know that she finished reading the draft of Northville Five & Dime. Her words for the story and my writing included “your writing is really powerful,” “a very insightful read,” and “never stop writing, you have a talent for it many don’t have.”
You can’t imagine how much I needed to read those words. The review above, the comments from a friend. They help. They really do. So, thank you to the strangers who post good reviews, the fellow writers I’ve met through blogging and who provide so much support, and to my friends, family and co-workers who continue to support my efforts. It helps. It really does.