A month ago I started to get emails with the words, "I want more." At first I was clueless as to the context of these e-mails. But then I remembered. At the end of my book, Save the Date, I wrote, "E-mail and let me know if you want more." And according to my in-box, you do want more. More of my characters and more of my wild tales. I needed to get these emails. You see, I almost gave up being an author.
How I became a #Mompreneur
The path I took to being a #mompreneur #author has been long and winding. Last year a lot of my stay-at-home-mom friends seemed to be asking, "What about me?" I even wrote a blog post about it: "How Do You Find the Time and Energy To Do What You Do?" They wanted to find something just theirs. Something outside of motherhood to make them happy. It seems like a right of passage moms in this position tend to go through. The journey to find what made me happy started a few years earlier. Writing has always been a dream, but I never imagined I could be good enough to be a published writer. I didn't even try. For eighteen years I tinkered with my first novel, but never really making progress on it. Then one day, after I thought I lost that book, I decided to finally finish it So I did. When I finished, an author friend pushed for me to publish it. So I did that too. At the time I knew nothing about the industry and made a lot of mistakes, some of which I am still trying to recover from. I spent hours every day trying to learn it. I loved it. All of it. So why did I want to quit?
I wanted more!
For two years I've been hustling to write and promote my books all while learning the business as I went. Not ideal. And while I accomplished a lot I didn't see that. I wanted more. When I started this business I knew I would be playing the long game--putting in the hard work now for future gains. But like most small business owners, I asked myself, "When is the future gains going to get here?"
The present joy of the work disappeared and I started down the dangerous road of comparing myself to others. A good friend helped me to reframe how I saw my situation. In two years I had several published novels and a strong reader following. All was not lost! I asked myself if I would be happy not writing and I realized quickly, that now I would not. The I asked myself, "What do I want out of this experience?" The answer is that I want more. I want to write more and interact more with my readers. So that's what I did. And guess what happened?
Once I recommitted to writing and publishing books, everything changed. Suddenly the gains started to roll in. I made the USA Today Bestseller's list with the Wedding Dreams Boxset, I made friends with authors in my genre who helped spread the word about my books, and my books started to sell. And this month I started to write again. My current project, Sally Chronicle, is a joy to write. I'm exited about my new projects and I'm enjoying all of the wonderful e-mails and letters from readers.
A few weeks ago my editor, Sue Fairchild, posted a picture of a fortune cookie that said something to the effect that people always want to quit right before the good stuff happens. It's true. Giving up is so easy. But what would I miss if I did...
Ps: I will be doing a sequel for Saved the Date. "Due Date" will be coming out sometime in early 2018 and will be about Mary and her adjustment to motherhood.