To confess further, I let those thoughts get to me. I let that self-doubt pool up around me until I practically drowned in it. Then I went to the beach for my best friend's birthday on Memorial Day. When I walked onto the orange sand (we have orange sand on our beaches due to the broken pieces of coquina), my friend's mother called out to me.
"Why? What makes you think you have any business coming to the beach?"
It took me a moment to recover. I had to make a mental check. I was invited to the beach, right? I wasn't infringing on a private family party. As I unfolded my chair and let the water-laden mini-cooler slip off my shoulder and land with a soft thud by my feet, I let her explain.
"Don't you have a book you should be working on? Shouldn't you be home writing?" She had read Flames in the Midst only out of obligation at first since I practically grew up in her home half of my teenage years. When she finished, she was hooked.
Part of me wishes I could tell you I dropped everything (or rather picked it all back up), turned around, and headed back to my house to sit for the next eight hours at my laptop while my children whined about missing the beach in another room and I put 3 or 4 chapters into the document for Dreams in the Midst. That's not what I did. I spent an amazing day at the beach with my friends and family. The kids played on their boogie-boards, we ate lunch, we built sandcastles, and I turned my daughter into a mermaid.
She told me, "Mommy, you're really good at this. How did you get so good at this?"
Practice? Imagination? Patience? Creativity? A little of everything? This was a moment of joy for me. She helped me to focus. I like creating things, and I like bringing joy to those around me, as well as those I may never see. I brought joy to my daughter by making her a mermaid, if only for a moment. I brought joy to my friend's mother when she read my book. I can't give up on any of these things. They are too precious and too valuable.
So, next steps?
- The May pricing of .99 worked out okay. I had more sales than normal, but not as many as I would have hoped. I am going to stick to the pricing experiment simply because it is worth finding out. I don't think I will see a significant increase until book 2 comes out. I have just changed the price to $1.99 for the remainder of June, but you should still be able to get it for the next 12 hours or so at the .99 price.
- For whatever reason, The Caffeinated Diva appears to be behind schedule. I am sure she is much like me in that there are other obligations in her life that contend with her time. I will keep checking to see if she reviews Flames in the Midst, but for now, I am not worried about it. I still appear to be on her reading list, and she is still making posts, so who knows.
That's it. That's the plan. Wish me luck! I want to continue building sandcastles and mermaids. When they get picked up in the wind or carried away by the waves, I hope they are not destroyed but merely living a life of their own to bring joy to others the way they bring joy to me.