Writers, Reviews, and A Very Good Day

If you follow this blog then you’re aware that I’m working on a new project. You also know that this summer I joined the Clarion West Write-a-thon . My goal was to work on my new novel 1 hour each day no matter how tired I was after my nine-to-five job. Though that doesn’t sound like a big deal, believe me, it was tough to pull it off.

By the time I get home, play with the dog, feed the dog and the cat, make dinner, eat, and unwind enough to write, it’s usually around 9 pm. So I ended up writing from 9 to 10, or 9:30 to 10:30, or 10:00 to 11, or…you get the idea. That’s okay. I am a night owl by nature so I’m more productive when I write in the evenings. A few nights I got so caught up in the new characters and story that I spent more than the allotted hour writing. The drawback, of course, was that the later I stayed up the harder it was to drag myself out of bed in the morning for work.

The more tired I became, the greater my doubt that it was worth the effort. Don’t get me wrong: I love writing and I love the new characters who are coming to life as I write. But doubts do creep in. It’s a writer thing. I got confirmation of that through one of the Clarion updates I received. Along with some great suggestions and resources given to help keep the participants on track, the email stated, “They say that week four of the Clarion West summer writers workshop is the toughest,” and went on to say that you might “find yourself doubting your talent and/or the work you’re creating.” (Wise people, those at the Clarion West.) And yes, I had gotten to that point. But a promise is a promise, so on I wrote.

Then at week 5 of the write-a-thon, while procrastinating, I checked my email and spotted a notice from Amazon about an upcoming royalty payment on my books. Now, you need to know that I never expect much of a payment. My books are self-published and I’ve had little time to promote them. Nevertheless I’m compelled to check the sales ranking of each book and, what the heck, check to see if there are any new reviews. And there it was. A review for Zombie Café.:

“This is one of the most unusual and extraordinarily uplifting books I have read in a long time! 5 thumbs up!”

Wow.

I have never used the word “elated” to describe my mood before, but that’s what I was…elated. This review came from someone I don’t know who seems to be a big reader of apocalyptic fiction and who liked my book enough to take the time to write a review. And the description fits Zombie Café so well. Again: wow.

I’ll never forget reading this review and the lift it gave me. Thanks! You kept me going through the rest of the write-a-thon and well beyond.

And thanks to anyone who takes the time out of their lives to read one of my books or the books of other writers out there. I hope that the stories we tell provide some enjoyment and distraction during these strange days of 2020.

And now…it’s 9:55 pm and I need to put in an hour’s writing on my new novel.

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