About eighteen months ago I published my first novel, Stealing Mercy. I should amend that. Stealing Mercy was the first novel I ever wrote. It was actually the fifth—maybe the sixth—but since it was the first novel I ever published, I’m calling it that. Since that hot July day, I’ve published three more and I have my new novel, Losing Penny, nearly ready for the world.
And what have I learned? I learned how to blog—how to post, write and comment. I discovered online writer’s groups and how amazingly helpful they are. I bought a fabulous camera and learned how to use it (there’s still so much to learn) I installed photoshop on to my computer and a got a how-to book. With the help of my daughter, I design book covers. I have worked with 4 different editors and three different formatters. I participated in group promotions and toyed with my sales prices. I co-hosted two book signings. And I did some public speaking (although that is not new, or pleasant, for me.)
But the most important thing I learned can best be summed up by this quote from Lance B. Wickman:
“This life is not so much a time for getting and accumulating as it is a time for giving and becoming.”
If I consider the cost of time and money and look at my writing life through an accountant’s lense—it’s been a wash. But if I use Wickman’s standard, I’ve succeeded in giving—more than 60,000 people have either bought or have been given my books, and becoming—a writer, a photographer, an event planner, a public speaker, a blogger and a social media junkie.
And what’s exciting is there is still so much more I want to write and so much more I have to learn and become.