Did you know that Carl Sagan never actually said "Billions and billions", the phrase that was so frequently assigned to him? No, Johnny Carson is apparently responsible for the phrase, practically trademarked during a Sagan impression. That's neither here nor there.
Tonight, a little more than six months after I sold my very first book on Amazon, I have sold my ten thousandth. I'm going to celebrate with a drink, something I don't do all that often anymore. And this weekend my wife is taking me to dinner to mark the occasion. This thrills me a little, as it's the first time we'll have formally recognized a moment of writing success.
I wrote a story on Medium recently about my self-publishing journey, and in it, I poked some holes through my younger self's preconceived ideas of what it meant to be a writer. In my twenties, I was convinced that being a writer was all adoration and parties and tours and such. I think I'm more circumspect now, and quite a bit more grateful for these little milestones I've been afforded. I'm certainly appreciative of the part of my writing journey that matters most -- my readers, both those who have sought me out and those who have stumbled upon my titles.
Ten thousand books.
If I were Hugh Howey, I'd be pointing you to a YouTube video, and in that video, I'd be performing a segment of Swan Lake in my leotard, or maybe trying to remember how to line dance. Instead, I'll settle for raising a glass tonight to all of you, to say thank you for showing me what it really means to write books, and for making me believe that it's worth continuing.
Thank you, all of you!
And now that the moment has been acknowledged, it's time to get back to writing Eleanor. I'm close enough to this story now -- after these twelve-plus years of trying to complete it -- that I can't tell if what I'm writing is genius or garbage. I'm just going to write it, and maybe you can help me figure out which it might be.