Formatting complete, In the Shadow of the Wind is now available wherever electronic books are sold. I take a few moments to reflect on the many and varied rewards gleaned through the process of writing the book. If you’ve been tinkering with a story of your own, not quite sure you are ready to dedicate the time required to finish it, I assure you it’s well worth your efforts. Here are ten of the unexpected joys I’ve discovered in my own journey which you may enjoy as well.
You will find great satisfaction. If you spend time polishing your words, seek and listen to honest critiques, and complete all the steps required in the countless revisions, you’ll find you’ve created a quality product to present to readers. It is a good feeling.
From across the country, your family may reconnect with a celebration of your work. Your older sister may depart with a hearty hug and the words, “I am really proud of you.”
Your younger sister may call, laughing, to say, “I want to set the record straight. We do indeed wear underwear!”
Your sister-in-law may write, “I have read the whole book and it is wonderful.”
You may hear from cousins. “I enjoyed it very much. You did a wonderful job telling your story. I cried and I laughed.”
The book may open new conversations with your grown children. One daughter may brag about you on Facebook. “My mom is a published writer!! So proud of her.” Another daughter may announce, “I learned something, Mom. Now I understand.”
Friends from your other career may endorse your book. From Missouri, “I’m at school tuning but I really want to be home reading your book! It’s good.”
From Illinois, “I enjoy every page. This is a real story and you tell it marvelously. What a gift.”
From Texas, “Your diversity is amazing. When a writer can move her readers to laughter, then tears, she has written a worthy story. It was a great read!”
Your collection of endorsements grows with each reader.
“It didn’t suck! In fact, your book is excellent. I want another copy to give a friend.”
“I loved it! It was like you were here talking to me. Is there another book coming?”
“It’s a page-turner.”
“I began reading your book and could not put it down.”
“Buy Ann’s book. It’s well worth it.”
“I just finished reading In the Shadow of the Wind; thanks for sharing your life, heart and soul with readers.”
And perhaps my favorite, “Smiles. . .tears. . .and peace. Thank you, Ann.”
Readers begin to share their own stories, prompted by a scene in your book.
One friend may share how she is nursing two juvenile black squirrels right now.
Another friend may share how a dream of her deceased father woke her from a sound sleep to discover her infant son in respiratory distress.
Another friend may share how her departed mother sent a message of love through a random card sent by a friend in a correctional facility.
You may be invited to lead a discussion of spiritual experiences and healing stories at your church.
Watching your book bloom with a life of its own is as thrilling as it is terrifying. With a bit of awe, you ponder how its appeal spans generations with praise from readers your parents age, through your own generation, to young adults your children’s age.
Your community of friends expands exponentially. You re-connect with lost friends and make many new friends through your writing adventure. Each person in your list becomes a cherished gem in your life story.
Completing the book is an adventure in building confidence. It may open doors to a whole new world and a whole new you. You may ponder the unforeseen influence each of us has on others. The personality your friends perceive in you may have elements opposite the way you view yourself. Ultimately, you realize your impact on the world is a complex blending of both perceptions.
With a project completed, you can turn to a new project, renewed and ready to tackle another story. Yes, there is another book coming.