So it’s been a year.
This time last year I put my first book out into the world and begged you all to read it. Since then, it’s turned into one of the best years of my life for reasons I expected and for many more that I never saw coming. So, here it is. A look back at a full year as an author. Here are some of the highlights:
• I’ve published 7 titles – 2 novels, 4 short stories and a how-to guide
• Combined, I’ve sold over 10,000 copies of the above works
• I’ve spent 52 weeks on Amazon bestseller lists
• I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
The numbers have little to do with how happy I am. I’m proud of the reception my writing has received. And, I’m not going to lie, the extra money it’s brought in has been nice. But, what has resulted in making me so happy is none of that. It’s this:
I’m creating. I’m making things. I’m not simply soaking up somebody else’s efforts. There is something in all of us that yearns to create in some form or another. When we ignore this need and turn into a pure consumer of creative ideas and thoughts, there is a part of us that becomes frustrated and bitter. Creating, anything, let’s that out and satisfies us like nothing else can.
Don’t believe me? Bake a cake. Go ahead. Even making something as simple as a cake satisfies that urge to create. And, even if I’m wrong you’ll still have cake so there’s really no reason not to try.
I’m connecting. Through this endeavor I have met so many wonderful, supportive and helpful people that it’s ridiculous. It’s easy to look around and think that everyone’s an asshole, but once you start actually talking to people it doesn’t take long to realize that the world is full of awesome and giving folks.
I’ve met more amazing people in the past year, on-line and in person, than I have in my entire life and I can’t wait to meet more.
I’m inspiring? Me? Honestly, this one is hard for even me to swallow but it’s true; the absolute greatest satisfaction, the best part of this whole experience, is when people tell me how I’ve inspired them to write their book or try something new.
And, I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not because it adds to my ego. It makes me happy to see people happy. So many that have told me that I inspired them were down and defeated beforehand. To see that spark of hope in their eyes and hear the excitement in their voice is contagious. I love to see that. I love to hear that someone else is following a dream.
Even if they’re looking at me and saying, “well if that idiot can do it…” I don’t care. The world needs more passion and more people who pursue it. It makes people happy. If for whatever reason I’ve helped people get on that path so be it. The important thing is that they’re happy.
I’m not used to being a source of inspiration. I’m not even use to people having heard of me. I don’t think I ever will be. I never wanted fame. I still don’t. I just want to make some people laugh. I just want everyone to have a good time. I just want everyone to smile a little more and gripe a little less. That’s all. Just that and an Aston Martin One-77.
So, after a year of trying, I’m going to try harder. I’ve got a lot of things in the works and I hope you’ll enjoy them. I’ve only truly succeeded at what I set out to do when you finish one of my books, set it down, take a deep breath and say, “damn, that was fun.”
Thank you to every one of you for your support this past year. Your kind words have moved me forward. Your support has been insane. I had crazy dreams like anyone else, but I never had any right to expect the kind of reception and help that I have received. I simply don’t deserve it.
But you know me; I’ll still take it.
As a thank you for all of your help, my first novel Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors is FREE today. Please download and enjoy.
Great post, Ben. You do inspire people, and you’re right–we all want to create something, even if it is just a cake. Wishing you an even better year to come!
Thanks, P.T. It’s amazing the difference a little self-expression/cake makes in peoples’ attitudes.
Love your post! You inspired me and look at me now!! Time to get back to the day job…
Well done, Ben. Great to hear things are going so well. I’m with you, it’s great to feel creative and connect up with like-minded people.
It feeds the soul. Like chocolate for the soul. It’s soul chocolate.