Okay, okay, full disclosure...those gals are two of my best friends. But, for a moment, in my mind, they were just two beautiful, intelligent women who bought my book and planned to read it.
For the past few weeks, I've been getting pictures of my book and various Barnes & Noble storefronts texted and emailed to me. One friend bought ten copies (nine as Christmas gifts). High school friends, college friends, and friends of friends are emailing and texting to say they ordered, received, and/or loved their book. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude!
One friend remarked that I should get ready for hand cramps, as I have a lot of book signing to do. Well I say, "BRING ON THE HAND CRAMPS!"
As excited as I am about all the love I have received, there's still a small voice asking me, "What about the criticism?" I know there are people out there who will read my book and think they wasted that $10.50. There may be some right now. I know because there have been books that I have started to read, and thought, "This book better get better!" And I've completed many books only to discover that I truly wasted the hours it took. Will people feel that way about my book? Absolutely!
Do I want to hear from them? Intellectually I do. I want to mull over their criticism with a fine-tooth comb. I want to have the courage to deeply consider each negative remark (with the same enthusiasm I absorb all the positive ones), and draw on it all to make me a better writer. Realistically, I might cry for a good long while before I'm brave enough to truly deliberate. But, I vow to scrutinize every unfavorable review.
Because, I think I can finally admit to myself (and to the world) that I'm really taking a stab at this writing thing. It's not just some hobby I took up to help fill the time and the void while raising four kids and running our family. This is an honest-to-goodness endeavor.
A very good friend asked me simply, when she found out about the book, "Now is this just something you're doing for fun, or is your goal financial gain?" One of the many reasons I love her is that she's so direct. I had to think for a few seconds.
I do want to make money from this; to contribute financially to my household, and also because in our world, money is a measure of value. Our world tells us that something that lots of people are willing to pay for has merit. I don't get paid to mother (or wife) and oftentimes this "job" can become a never-ending series of thankless tasks. I do receive a wealth of hugs, kisses, snuggles, and thank yous. If I had to choose the money or the love, you know what I'd pick. But with my writing, it will be lovely if I can have my cake and eat it too. It will be golden if my readers read and love and truly crave more!