The BEST! Readers like our most recent winner of this post, Ms. Violet Kelley! Congrats, Violet. You just won your choice of a Kindle Fire or a Nook Color. Just email me your address at email@example.com
Now, onto the thank you’s…
When I first started writing (a mere ten months ago) it was a completely different experience than it sometimes is now. I was never online, so I had plenty of time to write. I had no idea what I was doing, how I would get the books into the hands of readers. At the time I didn’t really care, I wasn’t concerned about that at all. I just wanted Will and Lake to be together, so I kept writing. I didn’t write because I wanted to make money, or fans, or even for Tim Tams (although, I would TOTALLY write for Tim Tams.) I just wrote because it’s what I love to do. I wrote for myself.
Now when I try to write, sometimes it’s a lot trickier. Knowing that people are expecting something from you really puts the pressure on. I’ve read other books, I know what readers like, I know what they want. It’s a different ballgame, now. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “No, don’t write that. Remember that review that said they hated insta-love?” I would find myself writing and re-writing and then trashing entire chapters.
And then I punch myself in the face and remember that I can’t please everyone. Not even close. And if I write to please, it won’t come from the heart. I have to remind myself on a moment by moment basis that, while I would love to write something YOU would want to read, I need to just write what I feel like writing and the rest will fall into place.
I was having an especially doubt-filled week this week, coming off the heels of Georgia and trying to get back into the mindframe of the story. It doesn’t help when I read brilliant novels from David Levithan like Everyday that make me question my place in this profession. (Just stating a self-observation. It’s all good. And you must go read his book!)
Sometimes, in order to get myself back into the right frame of mind, I go back and read certain emails, blog posts, reviews, etc. where the reader really “got” where I was coming from. I truly appreciate these types of things and the time it takes to write up a review or send an email. One will never know how much it can help a writer feel that their work is justified by hearing from their readers.
I have received some really, really, really, amazing gifts this week. Gifts that I am still staring at in awe, floored that there are readers and friends out there who took the time to put these things together. I want to share them with you, because I want you all to know how thankful I am to be where I am, and that I don’t take a single moment of this for granted. These are cookies that were ordered by Sarah Augustus and created by Sweets by Steph.
Of course they aren’t helping with the Weight Watchers, but I could care less. They are beautiful and appreciated and I’m scared to eat them because they’re so damn cute!
But Sarah didn’t stop there. Nope. As you all know, I LOVE The Avett Brothers. LOVE! Somehow, some way, she pulled this off. It’s just a pic, I know. But a pic that means the world to me. A pic that literally made me scream when I saw it. A pic that proves that, although this entire process may very well be annoying the crap out of TAB, they are still amazing and generous enough to take the time out of their insane schedule to sign a copy of my own book for me. That’s going in a glass case, for sure. And speaking of TAB, their new album comes out TUESDAY! I listened to it on NPR and it’s unbelievable. Go get it here!
And speaking of signed copies, I was left speechless again when I received this gift in the mail from Melissa. Several readers mailed a copy of SLAMMED thousands of miles and took turns highlighting their favorite quotes in the book and making notes for me. It was absolutely amazing, and I can never, ever, ever thank you all enough for
Amanda, Tressa, Marlana, Amy, Melissa, Chrystle, Fred, Kristy, Melissa P., Stephenie, Lyndsay and Vanessa and Sarah….THANK YOU for all you’ve done! From the bottom of my heart. You have given me more inspiration than you know, and I’m going to channel that into my next book. And although I wish I could say I was writing it for you guys, I’m going to continue writing for myself, and just hope that you love it.
Unless I get more Tim Tams. But don’t do that, I’m trying to lose weight.