I am not a starry eyed author. I expect little from my publishing career. When I published my first novel, Something Missing, in 2009, I was not under the illusion that I would be quitting my day job anytime soon. I saw that book as a small, uncertain, precarious step into a new career that came with no guarantees.
With each successive book, my attitude has changed very little. My most recent novel, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, has sold well and has been translated into more than 20 languages worldwide, and I still view every book as possibly my last.
There are no guarantees. If I don’t write an excellent book every time, this career could end tomorrow.
This pessimistic attitude means that I am rarely disappointed by my writing career and occasionally surprised and elated about truly unexpected surprises that my writing career brings. This week has been just such a week.
On Monday I made arrangements to Skype with a book club in Saudi Arabia about Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend. Saudi Arabia! The fact that people around the globe are reading my stories never fails to excite me.
On that same day, one of my former students told me that her college roommate was discussing my most recent novel in her English class.
That same night I drove to New York City to compete in a Moth StorySLAM, and I won. My fifth won in a row! I wouldn’t be nearly the storyteller that I am today without my writing career.
On Tuesday I scheduled meetings with two local book clubs to talk about my my books and my writing career.
Yesterday I received updates on the film options on two of my novels. While there are absolutely positively no guarantees when it comes to Hollywood and movie deals, the fact that talented people are working hard to adapt and develop my material is thrilling.
Last night a college student sent me a book trailer for Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend that he created for class.
This has been an unusual week in terms of happy publishing moments. Most of the time, I am sitting at a table, fighting with words, struggling to find a few more minutes in my busy day to write. It’s hard, it’s lonely, it’s frightening and it’s always uncertain.
That said, weeks like this help a lot.