On Tuesday night I had the opportunity to join Brandon Sanderson in his Google hangout with Google Play. (Squee!) You can watch the video here:
Last night I met with some of my beta readers to collect their thoughts on my manuscript. One of them passed along the reaction of one of her sons. He read the manuscript and not only did he love it, he's also clamoring for the second book! That's the second biggest compliment my work has received. The biggest compliment was that this same young man was inspired to start writing a book of his own!
I am flabbergasted. To my knowledge, this is the first time that I've inspired anyone. It's a heady feeling. It makes me wonder who else I can inspire as I continue to write and seek publication. It's not something that I'd anticipated. I've been so focused on perfecting my work and establishing a writing career that it never occurred to me that others would see this small amount of progress as a huge accomplishment. That's because to them, it is a big accomplishment. They don't see the long road ahead of me, just how far I've come, and the opposite is true for me. I can't afford to look back because then I might sit on my laurels and not take that next step. I have to keep looking and moving forward if I'm ever going to make my goals a reality.
One of the things I love about the writing community is that we pass it forward. We share our knowledge and experiences, both good and bad, and we become stronger for it. Newer writers, like myself, can learn from the wisdom of the great masters and stand on the shoulders of giants. To this young man, I am such a giant and rather than be afraid of this new status, I'm embracing it. Why? Because just as my friends officially established me as the Queen of Pie, this young man has confirmed that I'm not a beginner anymore. I may be still standing on the shoulders of giants and gleaning wisdom from the masters, but I also have knowledge and experience that I can lend to those that follow me on the road to bestsellerdom.