By Judy Christie
With the launch of my eighth novel, I’m in the mood for fried pies.
Make that chocolate fried pies.
That’s what the protagonist cooks–and what I’ll serve to say thanks at my upcoming book party at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in northwest Louisiana.
As authors, we spend lots of time talking about the serious business of writing and marketing. But to survive wave after wave of change: Celebrate your victories.
My CPA knows I’ll probably spend my last dime on a book launch party, and she shows up with a smile of encouragement. The Hot Dog Man and I go way back. And I’m new friends with Aunt Frannie, a local woman who makes old-fashioned southern fried pies.
With the publication of fifteen books – eight fiction and seven nonfiction – I try to remember to celebrate the gift of writing and to express gratitude. I got this idea from Carolyn See’s book, “Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreams.” (Carolyn is the mother of author Lisa See.) As she says, “We throw housewarmings and birthday parties and baby showers and bachelor parties; we need parties when our book comes out.”
A few tips to add celebrations to your writing life:
** Focus on saying thank you to all those who encourage you–the friend on whose shoulder you cry, the spouse who doesn’t groan when you stress over a deadline, siblings who pre-order your book and all those kind souls who show up for you in life.
** Don’t obsess on how hard it is to be a writer. Instead, savor the good moments, no matter how small. If you haven’t had a book published, celebrate hitting your writing quota for the month, getting an agent, sending a manuscript off or going to a writer’s conference. Or, throw a party for a friend who has just reached a writing milestone.
** Budget tight? Invite friends for snacks. Host a potluck. Make cupcakes.
** Be yourself. I use an old green typewriter and a collection of vintage stamped tablecloths at my events.
** Look for ways to give back. Barnes & Noble and certain independent stores co-sponsor books fairs. When I host the “Magnolia Market” launch party at Barnes & Noble, we’ll include a book fair to benefit a local tutoring program in a low-income neighborhood. A portion of all sales–not just my book–will go to this nonprofit. In addition, readers can buy children’s books from the organization’s wish list. (This idea came, by the way, from a reader.)
How about you? Do you celebrate? Would love to hear your ideas. Writing joy to you!
Author Judy Christie isn’t much of a cook but enjoys writing stories that have food in them. Her 8th novel, “Magnolia Market,” releases today (Sept. 23) from Zondervan. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “a delightful tale that entices readers with the aroma of biscuits, romance and new starts.” For more info, see www.judychristie.com.