A Letter to My Friends and Family

You say, “You are going to do great!! I just know!”

But the thing is- you don’t.  I adore you for your belief in me. In fact, I need you to believe in me because I often don’t believe in myself. All the same, I may not do great at all. A published book, even beautifully written and backed up with stellar reviews does not equal any sort of cash flow. I promise you I have not made a cent on LIFT. I have learned to consider this book as an investment, one that will pay dividends in loving the world around me and leaving behind a whisper of what I had while I was here. This is what I expect the novel and the nonfiction project I am working on now to do for me as well. I expect them to make me a better person than I would have been had I not written them.

You tell me, “You are on the verge of something big. I can feel it.”

You are right! I am. I’m going to be living an authentic life. That too does not equal cold hard cash. It is worth more than cash, I can assure you. Finding the space in the world where you are becoming something more than the 17 year-old you ever thought you could be is more than most millionaires ever get. In fact, they are often chasing money to find this very thing. In this way I am about to be very rich. I am still, however, going to struggle to pay the mortgage.

You tell me, “I am certain that you are going to be a bestseller. I believe in you.”

Maybe I will be a best-seller, an overnight success after publishing 13 books, more than a hundred nationally published articles and essays, after winning a handful of awards. I doubt it, but I love that you believe I will have this kind of luck. I think you are a bit off to believe so mightily that something akin to winning the lottery will happen to me when so many others who are equally deserving are playing the game too. You are so wonderful to say this. I hope though that what you really believe is that I will finish this next book, the one after, the one after that. That’s the hard part, you know, the writing, the finishing of the damn thing. All else that happens after that is completely out of my control and yours, unless you are good friends with Oprah. And if you are, WHY THE HELL HAVEN’T YOU TOLD ME THAT!

So now you are thinking, “Okay, Little Miss Glass-Is-Pretty-Much-Empty-So-Bring-Me-Some-Tequila. So what do you say to someone insane enough to walk away from her day job to write for a living?”

You say, “I will buy everything you write.”

You say, “I will tell my friends to read your blog, your books and to follow you on Twitter.”

You say, “I can’t afford to buy all the things you write, but I will check your book out of the library and write a thoughtful review on Amazon. I will tell the librarian I loved it.”

And I will say, “I love you.” I already do. Your support means the world.

–But it don’t pay the bills.

PS – Have you bought the new LIFT audiobook?  The royalties on your purchase will buy me two tacos and a burrito at Taco Bell. Feed me?

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6 thoughts on “A Letter to My Friends and Family

  1. I love this, especially what you say at the end. It’s so true–don’t tell me I’m going to be famous, just read my book and spread the word if you think it’s worthy…And if you really love me, give me a shoulder to cry on when some jerk on Goodreads gives it a bad review–ha ha. (BTW, I’m enjoying the LIFT audio book. Falconry sounds amazing!)

    • Oh gawd, Mari. For all that’s good and holy, STAY OFF OF GOODREADS. I’m going to have to write a post on that sometime. I really don’t understand why, but GoodReads is SUCH a hate-fest.

      xo R

      • Ha! That’s true, but it’s so rewarding when people really identify with the book…and the haters usually sound pretty nuts so I try not to take it personally (even though one reader actually said “ultimately, I really disliked the author!!”).

  2. I write and blog. I relate to this piece. People think they know what it means to be a writer because they read the bestseller lists. That’s like thinking you understand biology because you have a dog. Keep up the good fight!

  3. I am sorry that I cant buy you two tacos and a burrito at Taco Bell as I cant afford to buy your audio book at the moment. But I will tweet a link to this post and show this post to my daughter, who is also a writer.
    :) Kim

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