For me, writing has always been a way to escape, to challenge my mind, keep my imagination alive and have a little fun. In my teen years, it was a way to pretend being an adult before my time, and these days, it’s a way to stay young at heart no matter the age or gender of my characters.
Over a decade has passed since stuffing my love for writing away on the proverbial shelf. You know how it goes, right? Life takes an unexpected turn, you leave for college, you’re too busy with classes, exams, assignments, juggling a social life along with two part-time jobs…need I say more? Nah, I didn’t think so.
Let’s just fast-forward ten plus years…okay, so maybe more like close to the fifteen-year mark for me. I’m in my thirties, I have one incredibly imaginative four-year-old daughter who’s a chip off her mother’s block since she’s already creating stories at bed-time. I’m married, I have a mortgage, a car. I’m sure I don’t need to keep listing things here. Plainly stated, life takes you for a long ride and if you let it, you lose bits and pieces of yourself. Small sacrifices go unnoticed until something reminds you of the void. That’s what happened to me.
In the Fall of 2011, I stumbled upon a site called Wattpad.com. For those of you who haven’t been acquainted with it, it’s a site where amateur writers can write and post stories, poems, whatever written work long or short. It’s free and to be frank, sometimes the works aren’t worth your time while if you’re lucky, you’ll find some true diamonds in the rough. Needless to say, I joined the site and started reading. Within weeks, I caught the writing fever in the form of sleepless nights. Oddly enough, my insomnia and weird dreams halted the minute I chose to write things down in some kind of a written work. After a month of writing, I finally took the leap I never imagined I would and began sharing my stories thanks to some pushy friends of mine. Suffice it to say, it’s a hell of a lot easier to share with strangers than with family and friends. I say this mainly because of the nature of my writing. For those of you who’ve read some of my works, it’s nowhere near PG-13 ;-). Regardless of the hesitation, publishing on Wattpad.com was what lead me to my “real” publishing journey.
Now, you might ask: how does this all tie in with “putting a smile on an author’s face” as such the title of this post states? Well, it’s quite simple. For me, the success of my writing isn’t necessarily measured in dollar amounts. Of course that’s a plus but success, for me, is in the form of reading and hearing what others think about my work. I love my work and I wouldn’t have published it if I didn’t so my opinion is moot–but not yours my friends. I mean, why publish something you’ve worked tirelessly on if no one out there will read and appreciate it? A writer spends countless hours adding emotion to scenarios, to paint a scene, a picture if you will, for the imaginary escape of the reader.
You want to know how to put a smile on an author’s face? *whispers* Leave an honest review after reading their work. It can be a few words, it can be a novella. Authors don’t really care on the length. What we care about is the end opinion–feedback–about our work. After all, greatness can only be achieved by those who strive constantly for improvement and improvement can only happen, to a certain extent, with someone else’s honest opinion of our efforts.
With this said, I wanted to take the time and share a wonderful four-star review I received yesterday which definitely put a smile on my face. Why, you ask, would you blog about a four and not a five-star review? My answer is simple…because the reviewer stated all that I had sought out when I began writing the book. I wrote Once Written, Twice Shy to reflect a multitude of emotions within the reader and this review proved that I succeeded in my task. If you’re interested in taking a gander at this said review, please visit Pure Jonel‘s blog.
Until next time…