Monday, September 12, 2011
The Gift of Validity
Writers often feel like they are in a vacuum, isolated, solitary creatures who release their work and have no idea whether or not anyone will buy it, yet alone like it.
One side of my brain is a firm believer in the English Romantic’s view of art for arts’ sake. Writers must stay true to their work and write the stories we are driven to create. Writing done for purely commercial consumption usually lacks soul or depth of spirit, don’t you think?
However, my brain’s other half recognizes writing is still a business and all of us hopes our work will sell.
Every once in awhile, we get lucky.
On Friday, a well-timed advertisement on Ereader News Today brought me sales the likes of which I have never seen before. At one time Friday night, and then again on Saturday, A Whisper to a Scream was #92 and #99 on the Kindle Indie Best Seller List on amazon.com. There it was on the same page as behemoth John Locke and the brilliant Helen Smith!
Every time I checked my sales, the number increased exponentially. For the first time, I was sitting on a proper chair at the dining room table for Christmas dinner, not stuck at the card table with the kids. It was all very exciting.
I was happy so many people were interested enough in A Whisper to a Scream to purchase it. It gave me something I had yet to feel as a fiction writer — validation.
The magazine world, where I spent a good portion of my career, is more conducive to this. We produced an issue every month and with that came a sense of accomplishment and closure, as well as an eagerness to move onto the next one.
Whisper, on the other hand, has been a ten-year journey, which has tested my writer fortitude and stamina.
My sales rank is falling as I write, for, as all of you know, the lists are updated hourly and can be fleeting. But, this crazy weekend has given me the motivation to move forward and finish my WIP with a verve I have not had for awhile.
And that is a gift for which I am very grateful.