Being a writer isn’t easy. Sometimes I feel as if I’m boldly seeking out new ways to experience humiliation.
That’s why we really need our good excuses for a happy dance.
- A favorite author compliments your book. This happened to me this week, and I lost sleep I was so excited about it. Julia Spencer-Fleming writes my favorite mystery/romance/something-more series of novels about the Rev. Clare Fergusson (an Episcopal priest) and police chief Russ Van Alstyne. I’m not a great reader of mysteries, but I adore these two characters and the whole series. Spencer-Fleming is also a very entertaining speaker in person. I pressed a copy of The Awful Mess into her hands at the end of a library event months ago, and figured she’d probably donated it away that night so she wouldn’t have to lug it home. But as I was doing some tweeting at the end of long day, suddenly this popped up!
But there are, of course, other occasions that make authors want to dance:
- The first good review by someone you don’t know in the slightest.
- Any meaty review that suggests someone “got” exactly what you were going after.
- The first positive review that arrives after a nasty one that sat up there at the top of the “most recent” reviews.
- When someone highlights a section of your work that you particularly love, too.
- Watching on Kindle Unlimited or Goodreads as someone swallows your book whole.
- The first time you sell more than a hundred copies in a single day.
- A single sale anywhere when they’re not coming steadily anymore.
- When a librarian says not only do they want to have you talk, they want to buy ten copies of your paperback.
- When a librarian posts a great review of your book on her library’s site.
- When colleagues or friends make references to you as a “famous author” and aren’t being sarcastic. (Wrong, yes, but at least not sarcastic.)
- When you finally find a good way to write yourself out of a plot corner in your current draft.
- When you find out your book got clicked on or downloaded far above a promoter’s usual range.
- When you discover a new way to promote that looks as if it might actually allow you to make some money.
- When a blog post or tweet goes viral.
- When you get whatever yes you’ve been driving toward … publication somewhere, a full, an agent, a contract, a second contract … even if you know it’s just one milestone on a long, long road.
How about you? Have you had any good reasons to happy dance recently?