I promise this is not a post about Peter Cetera. Or The Karate Kid Part II. It is a little bit about love, though. And glory. And why I write.
I’ve reflected before about why I write romance novels. Of my delight in having readers. Fans, even. I’ve touched on how nice the money is and how much it has meant to me–as a writer and a person–to have found a home in the lesfic community.
But today I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m also in it for the glory.
Perhaps glory is the wrong word. Esteem might be better, with a layer of recognition. But glory is definitely part of it. And I’d already committed to the Peter Cetera reference, so here we are.
Today, the last batch of finalists for the Golden Crown Literary Society Awards (the Goldies) were announced. Built to Last was not on the list. Nor was it on the short list for the Lammys that was posted a month or so ago.
I knew the list was coming, so I pulled up the page on my phone the minute my alarm went off. Names I knew. A few I didn’t. Not mine.
I was disappointed, but I got out of bed and took a shower. I told Andie and she said sweet things to make me feel better. I did my morning writing and came to work. I congratulated my colleagues, I commiserated with friends. I moped a bit, but not too much.
It’s funny because I’m an introvert at heart and don’t actually like being the center of attention. But there’s something about awards, recognition of a job well done. I wasn’t raised to be competitive, but man do I love a pat on the head and a “job well done.” Literary awards are the pinnacle of that–positive reinforcement and an ego boost all rolled into one.
Not getting that recognition can be so…deflating.
I’m an optimist, though, and do my best to shoo away negativity before it gets too comfortable. So here goes…
I get notes from readers–unexpected bursts of joy that make me happy for days. I get royalty checks–quarterly reminders that people are willing to spend their hard-earned money on my stories. I get Facebook likes and retweets and mentions in reading groups. I get more good reviews than bad.
In short, I get plenty of glory. On top of that, it’s the kind of glory I care most about. And I love every minute of it.
Don’t get me wrong. I still aspire to a Goldie and a Lammy and, yes, even a RITA. But, at the end of the day, that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about the stories and the characters and the readers. It’s about love.
So for all you finalists out there, I send you heartfelt congratulations. For my fellow “also ran” friends, I’m with you. It’s okay to mope a little. For the writers still working to get published, don’t give up. And most importantly, for all you readers, thank you. You make it all worthwhile.
We’ll live forever
That we did it all for the glory of love
And just in case it’s not already in your head: