that's the question Alex J. Cavanaugh asked in the comments of yesterday's post. and he's right. why would someone who worries so much about what people think ever want to share her writing with anyone else?
well, i'm glad Alex asked because, really, i'd forgotten. when i went looking for the answer, i found a post i'd written in the past. i needed the reminder of all the cool things that have happened since i published Eldala.
~~back in Nov. 2007, when i'd first put out Eldala, i received an unsolicited "less-than-stellar" review in person, and i just sat there and took it even though i didn't want it and i was ready to walk away from writing...
the very next day, one of my dearest friends called me to say that God used the scene with the cardinal to remind her of his love. she also said the scene with the butterflies touched her, and that she'd written down quotes from my book so she could remember them later.
~~ one of my homeschooling friends in Canada told me that her teenage son, who had never finished a book, saw the cover and snuck the book out of her room so he could read it. she also said that she was driving somewhere with him, glanced at him in the backseat, asked what he was doing, and he said he was reading Eldala. and then he ended up finishing the book. wow. it's now his favorite.
~~ a couple of years later, this same young man (who is eagerly awaiting my sequel) asked me to send a signed copy to one of his friends in the states for her birthday. i was surprised and pleased when i received a card from her in the mail, just when i needed a reason to go on.
among other things, she said, "When Jessara accepted her responsibility as Malazia and eventually became queen, I found a new courage and understood that 'the only one that underestimates my importance is me.' Thank you for sharing Teleria with me. Thank you for the courage." i bring this card out when i feel discouraged.
~~ as if those reasons weren't enough to keep going, there's always the fact that my kids love my stories. my eldest son in particular loves to write with me. it's been a joy to work on Black Heart with him this time around. how many moms get to write a novel with their teenage son? i am so blessed.
besides all that, i've met some wonderful people i wouldn't have otherwise met if i hadn't shared Eldala. some of them have become treasured friends. as much as i've had an impact on them, they've had an impact on me.
so even though sharing my writing scares the heck out of me, i know i'll miss some amazing stuff if i hold back and keep the sequel to myself.