I thought I would use my first post of the new year to think about the past one. Not very original, I know, but you are still reading. Before the year finished up I received my first royalty payment from Amazon. After years of sending them money it fell great getting some back. Too bad it was only an electronic deposit as I always imagined framing my first royalty check. It would look kind of silly to write a check out to myself and put that on the wall. Still it meant so much to finally get paid for something I’ve written.
Something else that felt really good in 2011; taking to people I just met about my books and having them tell me that it’s something they would like to read. Even if they didn’t buy a copy there it was more validation that I was expecting. That led me to thinking about something I call the writer’s progress. See if this sounds familiar.
You first started writing for the diversion of it all. Then you get to a point where you let it slip that you are writing. You get the fairlly innocuous, “you’ll have to show me something sometime.” Then you do, and to your surprise and theirs they actually like it. So you write more. You start reading more and even buy some books on writing. You get your Writers Digest subscription. Then it happens, you finish your first novel and craft the perfect query letter. Now this can go one of two ways. The easy path is the rejections are so swift and damning that you smash your fingers and rip out your mind’s tongue never to put verbage to paper again. The harder path is the one where you receive just enough reinforcement to keep going. Something else happens, you start getting better at writing which is like putting gasoline on the fire that is burning the effigy of your last doubts. You are going to be an author now. All that is left, is a blog and writers’ group and one of those sweaters with the patches on the elbows. Well, not the sweater. At any rate what began as a hobby is now a source of income. Strange huh? Then again isn’t that what this was all about?