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On gratitude

Hello and welcome. For being someone who writes a lot, I’m still relatively new to the blog thing, so thanks for stopping by, and double thanks for bearing with me. I’m grateful you’re here.

If you’re reading this blog post, hopefully you’re aware that I’ve got a book coming out soon. It’s a good book, the first of hopefully many more, and I’m pleased with it. But I digress.

You see, some wonderful folks at Inkitt selected this little story of mine to be published, thus fulfilling a life-long dream. When I first heard the good news, I was, to put it mildly, extremely skeptical. Someone else thought my writing was good enough to publish? For real money? I didn’t believe it, and made that disbelief abundantly clear. It took a string of emails and a phone conference with Ali and the Inkitt crew to convince me that a) this was not some bizarre scam, and b) they were totally, 100% serious about publishing my story. Still somewhat in a state of shock, I agreed, signed the contract, and existed in a fog of surreality for several months.

By now, some of the disbelief has worn off and reality is setting in. (Which is a good thing, as I don’t do well in limbo. I need concrete information and a direction for my energy.) As I’ve busied myself with learning Twitter, setting up various Facebook and Goodreads pages, and generally immersing myself in “published author” culture, I keep coming back to the notion of gratitude.

There’s a song by a fellow called The Polish Ambassador: “Let the Rhythm Just.” The entire thing is quoteable, so I won’t pad the word count here, but the gist of the song is about feeling gratitude that, as a creator, your work has the ability to touch others on an emotional level, to fulfill some deep-seated need to connect and be understood. That notion has really resonated with me lately, because that’s my primary aim as a storyteller: to create an unforgettable experience for the reader. I want to make you feel the whole spectrum of emotions. I want you to finish the book with the same disorienting, wobbly-legs feeling you get when exiting a roller coaster. I want you to laugh and cry and roll your eyes, and smile. Mostly that last one. I want my stories to linger long after you’ve read the last word.

I never thought I’d have the chance to do any of that on a large scale. Inkitt has proved me wrong – and I’m grateful for that, and for all of their hard work and passion. I’m grateful for the countless hours spent brainstorming, researching, plotting, writing, editing. I’m grateful for the times when the ideas would flow and for those times when getting words out was like pulling teeth out of my own head. (Builds character, you know.) I’m grateful for all the steps I have taken that have led me here, to you, now.

Mostly, I’m grateful for you. By coming here, by expressing interest in my stories, you’ve invested your time and energy; two of the most precious gifts imaginable.

I hope to make your investment worthwhile.

Thanks, and stay awesome,

Lauren

PS: I lied about the song lyrics. I could seriously quote the entire song, but I’ll leave you with this:

“I gotta say, with no further ado, we’re happy to be here with you.”

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