When I was a teenager I loved roller coaster rides. The big drop kind, the loopy kind, the twirly kind that whipped you back and forth. The sensations of fear and euphoria were a sort of high.
Now I can no longer tolerate roller coasters. Pregnancy and giving birth did something to my body to make the slightest spin nauseating. But it doesn’t matter. I can still get that high. I can still experience complete terror and utter bliss and get the kind of rush that makes the hairs on my arms stand straight as soldiers. How? It’s called being a writer.
I’ve survived a total of 35 publisher rejections. And now I’ve put my book out despite that big drop to the bottom. I’m climbing back up, listening to the click, click, click of the rails. And today, the ride is sweet. At this moment I am in the five-star-euphoria stage. That part of the coaster when you are twisting in loops that do nothing but bring a crazy grin to your face.
It’s early. Untethered has only been out for 11 days. I don’t have people clamoring to buy the book and it’s way down on the Amazon sales charts below the 100,000 rating mark. But I’ve gotten some feedback from readers. Five-star feedback that makes me weak with joy and relief and disbelief. I read and reread my reviews on Goodreads and on Amazon several times a day. It’s little more than a handful of reviews, but it’s a handful of happiness. I wish I could kiss every one of those readers and tell them how they’ve made my day. My week. My life.
Yet I know I’ll be seeing another swift drop in my writing roller coaster. Not everyone will give Untethered five stars. Soon enough, I’ll get one or two-star reviews from readers who saw the weakest parts of the novel in technicolor. To them, it will be obvious where the writing felt forced or where I struggled to make it work. And since I know the novel isn’t perfect, they will most likely be right in some ways.
But FYI? You won’t be hearing about those reviews here.