Stubbornness and Gratitude (especially for readers)

by Kassandra Lamb

I am not a patient person, but I am stubborn (as my mother frequently pointed out when I was a kid). We often hear the advice to stop daily and be grateful for one or more of the good things in our lives.

I find that I have no patience for that. Not that I’m not grateful, but taking time to stop and do something so intangible seems to get lost in the shuffle of busyness each day.

by Granny Enchanted CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported, Wikimedia Commons

by Granny Enchanted CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported, Wikimedia Commons

Still I am grateful for my blessings–my family, my friends, a comfortable income and being retired which means I can be so busy with the things I really want to be doing. And this year, I am particularly grateful for my stubbornness.

For the first three years of my writing career, I lost money. That’s not unusual for a new business enterprise, I kept telling myself. But it’s not like me to have the patience to stick with something that isn’t working. I’m not a quitter, but if I can’t figure out why something isn’t working in my life, and make it work, my impatience takes over and I tend to move on to other things.

But with the writing, although I was extremely frustrated at times, I kept plugging away. I tried so many different things to promote my books; none seemed to have enough impact on sales to be worth the effort and/or the cost. But I felt like I’d already invested so much into this whole writing dream, and my books were selling, just not enough to cover the expenses of producing more of them.

A few times I was tempted to just “rest on my laurels,” i.e. let the books that were out there continue to sell slowly but hopefully surely, and go back to being truly retired, as in play cards and go out to lunch with friends several times a week. But I knew in my heart of hearts that if I stopped doing all promotions, the sales would dry up.

And that’s what really kept me going, because we authors need our readers. Without readers, our characters stop living. We blow breath into them, but readers have to read our words in order to have those people we created–who are sometimes more real to us than the folks who populate our lives–continue to live.

And now this year, things have shifted. I reached what is sometimes called the tipping point and my books started selling well enough to cover expenses and then some. So thank you, Lord, for my stubbornness, which for once won out over my impatience.

And thank you, readers, for bringing Kate and the gang to life each time you read one of my stories!

photo by my favorite photographer, Nevit Dilmen, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

photo by my favorite photographer, Nevit Dilmen, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons


And to fellow writers, I say:

Keep putting one foot in front of the other until you get there.

God bless you all!

And have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She is the author of the Kate Huntington mystery series, set in her native Maryland, and a new series, the Marcia Banks and Buddy mysteries, set in Central Florida.

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  • Reply
    K.B. Owen
    November 24, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Congrats on reaching the “tipping point” in your book sales! I for one am so glad you stuck with it! Enjoy your Thanksgiving. <3

  • Reply
    shannon esposito
    November 24, 2015 at 9:52 am

    I’m grateful for your stubbornness, too! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving misterio press gang!

  • Reply
    Kassandra Lamb
    November 24, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Thanks, Kathy. Stubbornness pays off now and then. 😀

    Shannon, I am also very grateful for YOU, and for the other misterio ladies. You all keep me inspired, and Shan, thanks again for talking me off the ledge more than once in those early years.

  • Reply
    Vinnie Hansen
    November 24, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    We share stubbornness as a quality, Kass. I wonder if it isn’t a necessity for anyone attempting to write and to market a book. The process is a long slog. Something has to keep us going.

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      November 25, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      Definitely necessary, I’ve found. Long slog is an excellent description of the process.

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