What am I doing wrong?! Perhaps that’s not the right question to ask. Or at least, not the right way to frame it. Perhaps I should ask, “How can I do it better?”
Over the weekend, I ran an Amazon special for Tiptoe and Whisper. It was free to download for two days. FREE. Guess how many people took advantage of the offer…Five. Literally one hand full of people. Why am I not excited about that? What does that feel like failure?
Seven months ago, when the pallet of books (MY books) arrived at my house it felt magical. Days later when I was finally able to move and breathe again, I brought one box inside the house and put the others in the garage. It seemed like a good idea at the time. All of this. Putting pen to paper, compiling the pages, sending them off, cutting here, adding there. Edits and covers and dollars, so many dollars. A lot of crying, a lot of worry, a lot of wondering if I was doing the right thing. Pep talks, so many pep talks. So many friends and family members telling me what an inspiration I am. So, on days like this, I try to remember that. Days that feel like a hole with no ladder require patience and self-care. I can easily spiral out of control and into the abyss. Every day as a writer is me dancing along that fine line. Every day as a writer is me wondering what it’s all for.
As far back as I can remember I have loved books and reading and words and of course, the library which brought all of those things together. When I was still in elementary school there was a small library on 2nd St. NE, just down the block from Eat My Words. I would go there as often as I could. Books gave me something my life often couldn’t: safety, freedom, humor, a world without limits. At the library it didn’t matter if I was poor or uncool. The librarians were magicians, good witches, fairy godmothers. If only I had had the presence of mind then to tuck their names further into my memory, perhaps I could find them and thank them (is there a MN Librarians group or association maybe?). When I begin to question my journey I think of that little library, I think of my 7th grade English teacher, I think of the kid I was, I think about all of the people who feel lost and alone and I remember that this is my way to thank them, to reach them, to encourage them.
When I feel this way about my writing there is only one thing to do…go to the library.