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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Number 11

So I found out yesterday that Crimson Veil was #11 on the Waldenbooks Bestselling Romance list. I have mixed emotions about this. On the one hand, I've never been this high before so it's kind of exciting. On the other hand, 11 doesn't sound that great. It's like when I was in high school, I was in the top 10.5% of my class. Being in the top 10 sounds better.

I guess, though, I should enjoy what I have, and I like to believe I'd be higher if people weren't having so much trouble finding the book. I keep hearing from all over the country that people can't find Crimson Veil despite searching multiple stores. These are readers who are willing to go that extra mile to find the book, so I can't help wondering how many casual readers I lost. The ones that aren't going to waste time tracking it down, and if they can't find it in the store, they'll just pick up the new Nora and call it done. Very frustrating since there's nothing I can do about it.

Seriously, I am trying to enjoy this. I've been reminded several times this week by different people that there are writers who would kill to be where I'm at. And I know they're right, that I can't expect to have this instant success that a few writers have managed to achieve, but....

There's always that little voice in the background saying "but." It's insidious. It undermines your confidence. It makes you doubt your ability. It makes you doubt yourself at the very core.

Maybe this little voice is what spurs us on. Maybe. But maybe this little voice is the same thing that stresses writers out, or causes them enough despair to quit. I've already made my decision. I'm not quitting, but I worry about other writers, especially unpublished writers who listen to that little voice. "Fall down seven times, get up eight." That Japanese proverb is my mantra, and I pass it on all the time.

Writing is hard. It's lonely. And anyone who thinks all their troubles are over once they're published is fooling themselves. Maybe this blog will show that if nothing else. Warning: Once published you keep your old neuroses and add new ones. Do published writers tell other writers this? Maybe they do. I always knew that selling wasn't some magical elixir, but I figured I'd get rid of my old worries of inadequacy and replace them with new concerns. I never planned on keeping the old baggage.

I'm lucky. I have good friends who support me when I'm freaking out. Who cheer about the good news and get angry on my behalf when others are poking at me. At the end of the day, I think having the friendships matter more than the numbers. People are important. Everything else is transitory.

MN Weather Report: 45 degrees.