This is what makes it all worth it

Writing is hard.

I mean, it’s an awesome, amazing, incredible part of my life that is so essential to my happiness that I couldn’t quit even if I tried my hardest (and trust me, I’ve tried).

But it’s also hard.

There have been many days when I just wanted to give up: 

When I’m editing a brilliant scene I wrote yesterday 🙂 and discover that it’s not really that brilliant after all 😦 (and may actually, in fact, suck).

When I’m ecstatic about selling 6 Kindle books in one day (6!!! In ONE day!!!) 🙂 and then find out that some indie authors sell 7 or 8 hundred in a month (oh, yeah, um . . . only 6 . . . in one day 😦 ).

When I spend hours crafting a blog entry or working on a marketing strategy 🙂 that ends up getting only a dozen views or 2 new “likes.” 😦

When I’ve been sitting behind a table at a craft fair for three days straight and sell four books total but can hear the guy behind me saying things like, “Oh, when you buy 5 books, you get one free so pick whatever you want!” about his bizarre-looking, supernatural books. (Only 😦 involved here. No 🙂 at all.)

Writing is hard. And sometimes you wonder if it’s worth it.

Then there are days like today. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Three smile days.

A counselor named Karalyn who is finishing up her last week at church camp sent me this message around 1 am:

Camp_Expert_Cover_for_KindleI just want to tell you that tonight your book was a lifesaver. I had a girl who relentlessly cried until her mom came and picked her up around midnight. One of my other girls is her best friend so she was up as well and now she’s alone without her friend and had a hard time getting to sleep. We’ve been reading Camp Expert before bed so I took it out and read two more chapters just for her and she’s sound asleep.

She was making little comments here and there about her own camp experiences as a first time camper. It was very cute.”

My writing helped both a camper and a counselor last night. Added happy dance because campers and counselors are two of my favorite kinds of people.

And everything is worth it again. The blood, sweat, tears, and even the (cringe) marketing.

Thank you, Counselor Karalyn and campers, for reminding me that the joy that comes from writing often has nothing to do with sales, royalties, or 5-star reviews.

Camp Spirit fans: Do you have a story like Karalyn’s about how one of my books helped you?

Fellow authors: Do you have a similar story of a time when a reader was helped by one of your books?

Share in the comments.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

authorblueJenifer Brady is a mom, photographer, and the author of the Abby’s Camp Days series, set at the fictional Camp Spirit. Her current work-in-progress is a YA fantasy trilogy. Find out more about her books at JeniferBrady.com or her Amazon Central author page.

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4 thoughts on “This is what makes it all worth it

  1. Wow. Great story. I wish I had one to match. I get some fan mail and a lot of great comments at craft shows I go to, but no one has ever told me my book is a lifesaver. I can’t imagine a bigger compliment! It’s true that other than those really good creative moments, it’s the compliments from readers that we live for. (and the book reviews we find at Amazon that are unexpected)

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  2. Jen, so happy for you! In the decades I’ve been writing and publishing, I can say that my greatest reward and often my only significant reward is feedback from readers who have enjoyed my books. It truly is enough to keep me writing.

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  3. I’ve read Buddy Check nine times and the Abby series five or six times. I left in July for an 11 month mission trip(my blog link is below if you’re interested) so I didn’t get to work at the camp that I’d gone to for 5 summers as a camper and counseled for 6. That first month was so hard because even though I knew that I was where God wanted me, I still missed camp so much while it was going on without me. So I spent the month of July rereading all of your books whenever I had free time(and trying to be patient as I wait for Abby 6!). Thank you for helping this struggling camp addict!

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  4. I would love to check out your mission trip blog. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m so glad my books could help you when you were missing camp. That was my original motivation to write them in the first place!

    I actually JUST TODAY got my final paperback proof of Abby 6. I went through it, and all my final changes were made perfectly, so now I can format it for Kindle, approve both and get it published. It will be out before the long weekend is over unless something crazy happens.

    I hope you are enjoying your mission trip and that you are a blessing to others and blessed by them as well.

    Thanks for reading!

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