I’m having a moment. A moment when I’ve discovered that a reader not only enjoyed my book, but, based on what they’ve said about it, got it exactly as I’d hoped a reader would. Every single piece. That review pretty much makes all the hard work and stress and self doubt worth it.
And yes, reviews ARE for readers, but those good ones sure as hell help the writer feel as though they did something right. I cannot thank the book reviewers in general enough for taking a chance on such a newbie, no matter how they feel about my book, but the ones that really loved it and want to share that love? You are frickin’ amazing. Thank you!
I’m going to go do an happy dance. Or cry. I haven’t quite figured out which. Probably a bit of both.
I had this moment of realization yesterday when I was contemplating writing my review for my first ever ARC. I am kind of living in this moment of fantasy right now. I am at a place in my life I never dreamed I’d be outside of those “Wouldn’t it be nice?” kinds of thoughts. Yet, here I am. And I am astoundingly grateful for it.
I have now gotten a second ARC approval and it is another book on my list of “I’d LOVE to get, but probably never will.” This was part of that moment of realization. Yes, it is only two books, but… I am now getting books for the express purpose of reviewing them before most people get their hands on them. That is an amazing thing to me.
I have also actually done something I never thought I’d EVER do: I wrote and published my own book. And it is selling. It is making the kind of impact with readers that I’d hoped for. It may still be very much on the tiny scale of things, but it is on the scale. This is also stunning to me.
As a person that has spent the bulk of their adult life focused on being Mom and struggling for years with who I am outside of that role, these things are massive for me. I am in awe that these are now facts in my life, that they are a tangible part of that life. It is though I can feel how these seemingly small things are cementing their place in who I am.
There have been so many things over time and throughout my life that have been damaging and hurtful. Because of that, I have actively spent the last several years trying to find the positive things, the things that bring me joy and most days, I’m good at finding those things. Photography has been a huge part of that for me. So have my kids and my Hubby. But these things? They feel different. They feel healing in a very different way. They make me feel a little bit more solid in who I am.
And I am massively grateful.
Today I will sit down with my family and enjoy a meal I spent hours working on. It isn’t something I begrudge because it is one of the ways I get to show how much I care about them. We are all healthy. We are all safe. We are all happy and loved. For that, I am grateful for so many cannot say the same. I am also incredibly grateful to know that my good friend and her family are also safe after having been evacuated from their home because of the fires in California. They still have a home and a job to get back to. They are some of the more fortunate ones. They may not be as happy or feel as safe today because their lives are still turned upside down, but they are safe. They are healthy. They are still here and the world is a better place because of that. So today I am grateful for so many things but it is with the heaviness of knowing that so many others aren’t so fortunate today.