2012 has been an exciting and trying year for me, both personally and professionally. I finally realized my life-long dream of becoming a published writer this year, an occasion both momentous and oddly anti-climactic. My first book went out into the wild January 1st. I sold some copies that month, mostly to friends and family, a few to complete strangers. I received my first fan mail and it made me cry. Shortly after, I received my first public review, and it was less than glowing. But I learned a lot from that review, and now I'm thankful that the first one was tough. Because it toughened me up too. One of my greatest fears about my books going on sale was that people wouldn't like them and that all my fears about not being good enough would be validated.
But I learned a very simple truth: Opinions are just that: opinions. Good, bad, or otherwise. I cannot possibly please everyone with my work. If I please the majority who buy it, fantastic. *That's* my goal. *Not* pleasing everyone. The latter is an impossible task. I was silly for ever thinking otherwise.
As of today, I've sold over two thousand books. Not bad for someone who started from scratch and did hardly a lick of promo between January and June. And the majority of the reviews have been positive. I even got two four-star reviews from RT Book Reviews, which made my day both times it happened.
So is all of this what I'm thankful for? Not really. What I am truly thankful for are my family, my friends, and my readers. My mom went through a *major* health scare this year, but she pulled through. My boyfriend and I are still going strong after more than three years, and I have no idea what I ever did without him. My friends have been there for me every step of the way. And my readers have helped keep me motivated when I thought I'd never make progress in my career.
One of my readers, Stephanie, has even become a special friend. She wrote a post about us that made me cry. When I started out on this journey, I never expected anything like this to happen. So I'll add the unpredictability of life to my list of what I'm thankful for. You never do know what's just around the bend.
If you're reading this--thank you! That means you're part of my world. :)
So now it's your turn: What are you thankful for this year?