I write books. I have these ideas in my head and the roll around until they spill out my fingers and onto the page. The craziest thing is that some people actually like them. Because the stories I write are all made up, that makes me an author.
But, no matter how many times I do this, no matter how many people love or hate my books, I always get nervous about it. Releasing a book into the wide blue yonder of the world is one of the most terrifying experiences ever. I can never tell if the public (i.e. readers) will love or hate the strange, twisted little thoughts inside my head. I can’t guess if they will approve of my vision of strong women or hate them. I have no idea of what I find “sexy” in a man will sway them or revolt them. I can’t even fathom if a plot twist is truly engaging or yet another tired trope.
Until I read the reviews.
So, here I am, a few tequilas in, and hoping that somewhere out there are people who enjoy my book. I see the sales. I read the people who love and hate the book (because the extremes are typically most likely to review it) but I rarely know what people wish to see in their next book. I can’t guess what it is that they like in a novel.
All I know is what I like. I’m so tired of books that spill everything out in a few chapters. I’m sick and tired of stories that are only a single layer deep. I can’t take anymore books that are little more than an author’s self aggrandizing wish fulfillment put to paper (or whatever). I think that stories are a journey that is meant to be enjoyed.
All too often I read people saying they want more world building. Usually followed by someone claiming that the story is too slow and focused on the details rather than the plot. No one can decide, it seems. So, I have come to a decision.
Keep in mind, I’m celebrating yet another wonderful release with my amazing fans and a new potential career built on imagination and hard work. I’m thrilled with my books. I’m stunned with the potential for success as an indie author. I’ve also had just enough drinks and hours chatting with the people who make me feel confident about myself to have made a decision.
I write books for me. I am an author. I can never guess what others will like. I only know the kind of stories that move ME, and make me want to spend months dwelling inside those worlds. I am the one that has to put my name to the cover. I am the one that will read them over and over and over and over again until I am so sick of the characters that I’m ready to move on. I am the person who holds this whole thing up, and so I must write books that **I** like. I can’t guess what will make others happy, and I shouldn’t try.
I can’t stop checking the reviews of my books. I can’t stop hoping that the readers like what I have spent so many hours making. I can’t stop wishing that I’m a good enough author to make them happy, or that I can learn the magic to become one.
And this, my friends, is the secret. All of us, regardless of what type of art we make, secretly hope that somewhere out there is another person who kinda likes it. I’m not any different.