Gifted, Proud, and Paid!

In December 2011, my book came out. After a year of work, work, and more work, edits, revisions, edits, revisions, and more edits, and revisions, I should’ve felt a sense of accomplishment…pride…joy…something. Yet I felt rather blasé. To me, it seemed like a non-event. And that left me scratching my head. What’s wrong with me? I should feel something, right? I loved writing the book. I like the cover. I’m happy. So why don’t I feel as though I just won first place?

When I announced the publication, family and writer friends congratulated me.

“Well done!”

“We’re so proud of you!”

“Can’t wait to read it!”

While I appreciated their support and enthusiasm, again I felt nothing, just an odd total lack of achievement. Ah, but then a curious and wonderful thing, happened—strangely enough at the ol’ day job. I attended a meeting with several of our executive level management and an outside consultant. Introductions made, the consultant looked across the conference room table and said, “There’s a Lynn Somerville that writes a weekly blog. And I just ordered her book from Amazon.”

“That’s me,” I replied.

Her eyes bugged out. “Really? I love your work.”

One of the directors in the meeting, sat back in her chair, brow knit. “You’re a writer? You’re published? I didn’t know that.”

Finally, there it was—elation. Triumph! A grin split my face. I sat a little taller in my chair. “Yes. I am.” The meeting agenda got a little off-track while I spent about twenty minutes answering questions from C-level management about my writing and other works I’d had published.

And today I received another yes-I-am-a-writer-reminder: a royalty check!

A writer friend of mine recently told me about her dad. He’s an avid reader. However, he can’t even fathom writing a book, couldn’t come up with an idea for a story, let alone pen one. Therefore, authors are mysterious creatures.

As writers, it’s easy to take our talent and profession for granted or become insulated from readers. We spend time with other authors at chapter meetings, seminars, and conferences. We network on Facebook and Twitter with editors and agents. Get two of us together at Starbucks and we’ll talk plotting and characterization for hours. We forget, however, that not everyone is a writer. Not everyone scopes out the people in the doctor’s office waiting room thinking, “That guy over there with the adorable little boy. He could be the single dad in my next novel. And oh ! See how that nurse just looked him over? She’s gonna be the love of his life in my book.” Normal people, that is non-writers, don’t go to a carwash and spin up a tale about a serial killer who chooses his next victim while vacuuming her car.

But we do.

That’s no reason to be haughty, puffed up with self-importance. Yet, we do deserve to feel amazing. We take a “what if” and bring it to life on the page. Not everyone has that gift.

Scary Mondays Volume One: includes a story about a romance writer who finally gets her happily ever after in the hereafter; and a tale about another romance writer who literally brings her character to life!