Motivation and inspiration were two things I have been incredibly short on lately.
I’ve always been great at devaluing my work and convincing myself to give up. I can skillfully paint almost any situation as pointless and come up with a thousand reasons to not do something. These aren’t abilities I’m proud of and they haven’t served me well in life, but I will readily admit that I have them. They are simply a part of me.
I’ve been working on the next book in Rhea’s story, Transmuted. I had my story outlined and the characters existed well enough in my head people. I had about fifteen thousand words written out and my motivation just dried up. Well, dried up isn’t exactly right, between the stress the holidays cause me, working, and some other personal issues, my motivation got wrecked. And a couple weeks after all that stuff had passed, it stayed that way. It was looking like I was going to give up on the book I was writing.
Suddenly, it all changed. One day, one of my co-workers walked into work, sat down next to me, and in an incredibly sincere voice (this was my first sign something was wrong, we are almost NEVER serious at my place of work), he looked at me and said “Your book…it…it escalates.” I laughed. That was, and remains to be, the most succinct descriptions of my book that I’d ever been given.
Even though I had a very good idea of where he was in the book, I went ahead and asked him. I turned out to be right, so he and I talked about the the first third of the book off and on for the rest of the morning. He told me about the things he didn’t like, and the things he did like. He shared some of his reactions to the characters and their feelings with me. He apologized to me for being such a slow reader, I told him to shut up and that I was thrilled he was reading the book and talking to me about it. He went home and read more.
The next day he came in and we talked more. About halfway through the morning a few critical systems went down in our office and we were left with very little to do until they came back online. I did some writing on Transmuted and he pulled out his Kindle Fire and started reading Mercury, Sulfur, & Salt again. I didn’t manage to write very long before I noticed he was shaking his head at this part, or muttering comments to himself at another. I was dying to ask him what part he was at, but I didn’t want to interrupt his reading experience, so I kept writing while keeping one eye on him and one eye on my words. Our systems stayed down for the rest of the morning and he was able to finish the short story. After he was done we spent our lunch hour talking about the book.
Watching him read the book was, hands down, the most amazing experience I’ve ever had related to my writing. It was thrilling, terrifying, and rewarding all at the same time. On top of all this, it juiced up my batteries. I wanted to go home and write again; I was full of ideas. Knowing that someone read my work and they enjoyed it was amazing. Sure, I’ve read the eight or so total reviews my book has gotten, and appreciated every single one of them, but none of them had an effect on me like this. This was tangible; it was something real. It was exactly what I needed. I needed to be reminded that even if only one person reads what I write, and they enjoy it, I’ve won.
So, if you’ve read a book by an Indie author and enjoyed it, shoot them an email or a comment and talk to them about it. They’ll probably be gleeful to hear from you and more than ready to discuss the book.