The second half of 2017 and the first two months of 2018 have been a continuous whirlwind. I started a new job, started school, both of which have proved to be more demanding than I first anticipated, and moved across the country away from my friends and family. On top of that, I decided to take a chance on my life-long dream of publishing books, which also proved to be more demanding than I first anticipated.
It is now March, and I’m only just now holding both my books in one place, despite them both being released last year. Like everything else in my life recently, it’s more than I imagined it would be.
School and my job come first. They have to. That’s just the name of the game right now in my life. As a result, my writer dreams have been far more modest than what many people think writing careers are supposed to look like. I sell a handful of books here and there. Every once in a great while they catch a reviewer’s eye though a sea of emails. An occasional interview increases interest for a moment, but it fades quickly.
I’m not upset or bitter about any of this. It’s the name of the game and, right now, I just don’t have the time or resources to play full-time. As a perfectionist, it’s just a hard pill to swallow more often than not.
Still, as small as they are, I remind myself to celebrate these books. I’ve had people tell me they remember feeling the way my characters have felt at their age. I’ve had reviewers say the stories are relatable for young adult readers. I put my pride aside and listened intently to my sensitivity reader on book two (on the right), challenging myself as a person. I chased after a dream I’ve had since I was a kid and I made it real, no matter how small it is right now.
So, when you’re out there slaving on whatever you’re working on, don’t forget to take a minute to celebrate. Celebrate finishing the first chapter. Celebrate finishing the last. Celebrate editing. Celebrate having the courage to start over.
You’re all doing something magical in your own way. You owe it to yourself to celebrate that from time to time. Make sure you do