Tuesday, November 25, 2014

PG Forte thankful blog

As an author, there are usually a lot of things to be thankful for. A new contract. A gorgeous cover. Compliments from your editor. Writer friends to collaborate and commiserate and brainstorm and laugh with—and to open another bottle of wine with.   There’s the thrill of walking into a bookstore and seeing your book on the shelf—and no, I don’t think that ever gets old.
There are small successes—multiple things to be thankful for—all along the way. And even if you never get to the point where you can quit your day job, there are other rewards—or so it’s always seemed to me. Up until this year.
See, writing has always been my escape, my passion, my favorite pastime. I was one of those annoying people who could write through anything. Cross-country moves? No problem.  Teenagers? Don’t make me laugh! I’ve written while waiting at hospital bedsides, in a car parked outside one of my kid’s school, on airplanes and cruise ships, and while recovering from pneumonia.
But I’ve had a lot on my plate lately: tension between friends, collaborations falling apart, issues with family members who needed my help, major expenses out of the blue, the uncertainty of yet another move—maybe, or maybe not—hovering on the horizon for several months.  Anyway, you get the idea: life’s been kind of a mess. And, the thing is, this time around it really had a negative impact on my writing. It was a struggle to get the words out. My characters didn’t interest me. My stories didn’t excite me. It reached the point where I’d finally begun to consider just giving up.
And it was a relief.
It’s been such a volatile year for publishing. So much drama! So much change! Lawsuits and mergers. Authors stalking readers. Readers bad-mouthing authors. Sales down all across the board. People melting down over seemingly insignificant matters. The idea of walking away from such a contentious, uncertain industry…well, really, where was the bad?
It’s not like I couldn’t afford to walk away. After all, by most people’s standards, my career wasn’t exactly a success. And, honestly, weren’t there other things I could be doing with my life? Other interests I could be pursuing? I had to admit that there were and most of them struck me as being a whole lot more important, more satisfying, more worthwhile than what I was currently doing.
But then a funny thing happened.
I found a reader review on Goodreads thanking me for the impact one of my books had had on that person’s life. Over the next few weeks, several readers wrote me notes expressing a lot of the same things—that my books provided an escape from reality when they needed one, that I’d made them feel less alone, or moved them in some way. That I’d made a difference.  Knowing that has made a huge difference to me.
“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” ~ Marianne Williamson
So, thanks to some wonderful readers, my work feels worthwhile again. I have a new definition of success, and I’ve rediscovered the joy in writing that’s been eluding me for far too long. My muse has come home. It’s good to be a writer.
* * * *

Every memory leaves its mark.

All Sophie wants is a tattoo to commemorate her battle with cancer. What she gets is celebrity tattoo artist Declan Ross, the same sexy bad-boy who, once-upon-a-time, used to rock her world.

With his hit television show on hiatus, Declan is back in the Big Easy. A charity event at Midnight Ink, the shop where he got his start, seems like the perfect opportunity to use his celebrity status to publicize a good cause…and just maybe improve his own image in the process. The last thing he’s expecting, or thinks he needs, is a chance meeting with the girl he left behind.

Last time they were together, Declan was the one who was damaged. This time, they’ve both got scars; and those you can’t see are the hardest to cover. 
This story is also available as part of the Midnight Ink boxed set.


Jenny Schwartz said...

PG, that resonates so much with me. (((hugs)))

Now, enough sentiment.

Don't you DARE stop writing. I have a little town called Oberon that needs me to visit regularly :)

PG Forte said...

Aww, thanks Jenny. <3