Yesterday, I finished the last leg of my 2006 touring schedule if you will. Not as impressive as it sounds, but I had a great time hearing how my books have touched hearts and meeting new readers. This makes my third Christmas season as a published author. I take advantage of the gift giving season to stand behind a table and sell books at every bazaar and craft fair I can afford. Each year earns me more attention and more books sold. Yesterday was a hometown event and I did very well. Lots of fun meeting readers who bought books last year and came back for more.
Writing is a lonely, often frustrating career choice, so getting out and meeting readers face to face does a world of good in reaffirming that you’re doing the right thing. Last week in Wilmington, Ohio I met an aspiring young writer. Speaking to young people like Kayla makes me realize how blessed I am to be a part of this business. If you’re like me, you often question your abilities and your decision to ever pursue writing in the first place. I think all writers do. Maybe everyone in any career. But this young lady was full of questions…and full of doubts. When I told her of my own frustrations when characters don’t cooperate and storylines don’t come together, her face lit up. She thought she was the only one. She’d never spoken to someone who actually understood her and the pain of putting one’s thoughts to paper.
Talking to Kayla and others like her make the times of sitting behind my computer fighting my own doubts worthwhile. On a regular basis I wonder if I’m doing the right thing. With so many books out there and so many people trying to break into the publishing world, will it matter if I never write another word? Will anyone miss me?
Even if the answer is no, I would miss writing. Even after all this time and knowing what I do about the business, I can’t make myself not write. I suppose that’s what I’m most thankful for this year. Besides all the family and friends and good health I enjoy and a thousand other things I too often take for granted, I am thankful for young people like Kayla and readers like Donna and all those who took the time yesterday to tell me how much they enjoyed the books and to buy the new ones, and bookstore owners like Patsy Maxwell in Sidney, Ohio who invited me into her lovely store to meet her customers.
I don’t know if it’s in God’s plan that I become as well known as some writers of Christian fiction. I don’t know which of my books will become a break-out bestseller or if any of them will. But I am grateful for the opportunities 2006 has brought. If the Lord tarries, I am looking forward to an exciting and productive 2007.
Blessings to all & best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by family and loved ones.