Last fall my close friends Martha and Tanya had a “stoop sale,” which is what we apartment-dwelling New Yorkers call a good old-fashioned garage sale. As the three of us were discussing how much to charge for a beaded purse and why no one had yet bought the wooden elephant, a kind older gentleman strolled by. He struck up a conversation about the stack of books Martha and Tanya were selling. He said his name was Leland William Howard and explained that he’d written a memoir about the 20 years he’d spent with his beloved dog Betsy.
With tears of joy in his eyes, Mr. Howard told us how writing the book was purely a labor of love. He’d published it on his own and hadn’t sold many copies, but that didn’t matter to him. He had a story to tell, he’d told it, and he was extremely proud of having done so.
Bravo, Mr. Howard! (Here’s a link to his book, Portrait of Betsy)
With all the focus on what to do once our books are “out there,” too often we authors forget why we wanted to create a book in the first place. I’ve written seven novels now, but I remember the moment I finished the first one as if it were yesterday. I was overwhelmed with an incredible feeling of accomplishment, of pride, of fulfillment. And that was just the first draft! I had no idea what would come next, no clue that I would one day become a full-time author. And you know what? Since then I’ve have a lot of success with my writing, but none of it surpasses that initial feeling of pride, of I did it! I’m dead serious.
So many people want to write a book, but so few actually do. Try to remember that the next time you’re feeling discouraged, okay?
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2015 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.