Writing is a hard, hard thing. It is a solitary thing. It is a thing where all of the work is done in places that are unseen, so the value of said work is sometimes forgotten. People can pick up a book and have no thought at all for the hours, tears, papercuts, giggles, and long, back-pain inducing hours it took to create it.
They have no concept of the blurring vision, the PTSD fear of the red pen, the simple joy in the way your agent holds your hand when you’re freaking out over an offer, and the sheer thrill of seeing your book clutched close by someone reading it on the subway. People forget that while they can consume a novel in a weekend, that was probably four years of your life, where you were probably obsessively thinking about it every time you got the chance.
So when I get mail like this, it pleases me to no end, because this tells me that all those hours, those tears, those paper cuts, those aches, those giggles and those obsessions are known, appreciated, and respected. Also, because mail like this is also great advice for ALL writers, I have been given permission to share it:
Congratulations times a thousand on publishing your debut novel. That’s beautiful, wonderful, amazing. You did it. You damn well did it. I don’t know you, but I know that writing’s hard, it’s always hard to do this thing in silence and on your own, so congratulations on damn well doing it. Whew. I hope you’re writing book two/three/four now. Right now. Good lord, full steam ahead JM, full steam ahead.
I understand what it takes to get where you are: Not stopping. Everyone wants to have written; few want to write. That you already have so many books lined up—I cheer louder! That’s the other thing few get: Don’t stop don’t stop don’t stop. If not this book then the next one, if not that one then the one after…simply don’t stop writing and you’ll get there.
(These kind words and excellent advice come from Atlinmerrick)