Life is a strange thing. We all have ups and downs and at times, it seems like there are more downs than ups. Sometimes we question why things have to happen to us. We wonder why other people get it so easy, even though we have no true insight into what their lives are like. We judge, we assume, and make unfair assessments of our situation versus other’s, completely forgetting how difficult life can be for the starving child, the homeless family, or the bullied student.
There have been a lot of times over the past four months where I’ve had difficulty sitting down to write. Actually, there have been times I’ve had difficulty getting out of bed. There have been times I’ve thought of giving up on writing all together, feeling like the creativity and passion that once burned inside me had been extinguished, and the wick could not be found to reignite the flame. Life’s been tough. I’ve made statements of trying to come back more regularly, only to let that drift away with the smoke of passion. So rather than make any such bold statement now, I’m content to say I’m trying. In fact, I’ve been down at the computer two days in a row, and the creative cogs are turning inside a mind lurking with monsters.
Today, after having a bit of a troublesome moment, I remembered something that occurred earlier this year. It really made the desire to tell stories come back in an unrelenting force, and it inspired me to “suck it up,” as they say. A reader contacted me to let me know their signed copy of Exiled had gone missing from their bookshelf. When they found out where it had gone, it was somewhat of an inspiring moment. A young teenage boy with no desire to read whatsoever, had taken the book and read it on his own. Not only did he read the book, he wrote a report on it for school, and has since discovered an urge to read more.
You know what’s greater than having your book high on the ranking charts, or a big pay check, or getting paid to write at all? That. Knowing that you inspired just one person to pick up another book and give this reading thing a go. If I had found the right book as a child, I could’ve discovered a love for reading at a young age. Instead, I didn’t really start reading until my early to mid twenties. That’s when I found a book that captured my attention. Needless to say, I’m not nearly as well read as I should be, and I’m far behind most of the other people in my profession, but hey, I enjoy writing so here I am. And now, thanks to something I wrote, some child (maybe more that I don’t even know of) has discovered a book they enjoyed. A book that made them say, “Hey, maybe this reading thing can be okay.” When I first wrote Exiled, that was my goal. I wanted to give young teenagers a book that might capture them. If it’s not me, I do hope it’s someone else, but I knew I could write a book that could inspire the insight that reading can be awesome to at least one person. Of course, I hope there are so many more, but if I caught one young potential reader, that was a job well done.
I forgot all about that until today, and it reminded me why I published in the first place. Of course I wanted to write full-time, and I wanted to make good money doing it, but more important than that was being able to open the world of books to someone. At the time of writing Exiled, I had a young teenage boy in mind. Much like the the teenage boy I once was. I wanted a book with action, adventure, magic, monsters, the whole works. I wanted to delve into a child’s mind and open the floodgates from page one, refusing to let go until the end. I was able to achieve that, and although my writing has grown leaps and bounds in the past two years, that first book did that for somebody. Then I wanted to take that book and make it appeal to adults too, and now I’ve developed a fan base to be reckoned with. Readers that will buy whatever I write, people who e-mail me and message me demanding more. Those are the people I want to write for now too. Receiving an e-mail from a reader that tells me my books were a much needed escape from work, or life in general, is a reward much larger than any pay check or bestseller list. It’s a reward from one heart to another. I gave them a book from my heart and soul, and in return they gave me their time and the fuel to write more.
So although I would like to apologize for my absence, and the fact that I’m not as far a long in my next publication as I’d like to be, this is more or less just a thank you note to all those who stand behind me. To all those that picked up my book and gave an unknown self-published author a chance. Your time is valuable to me, and the fact that you ever considered spending it on me is a blessing. Although it may not come as quickly as either of us would like, I hope to give you something new for your time very soon. And if things come along as wonderfully as they have been the last few days, maybe it will be sooner than either of us think!