It’s the little things….

When I finished my first manuscript I learned the first little thing about writing….don’t rush it.  The manuscript, while a nice love story, was seriously bad and I just didn’t see it.  As proud as I was of the work, it was more than a bit disheartening to have a close family member give it back to me with a complete list of everything that was wrong with it.

Still I had written a whole novel and that was something.  It was a few years before the next one, a mega novel of well over 140,000 words, came along.  It had good bones, but I had learned the second little thing about writing…more is not always better and not every thought I had in my head needed to be in one single book.

After that, manuscripts flowed out of me and as my writing got better, pressure from family and friends to publish the stories became more intense. As a relatively private person I couldn’t imagine opening my work up to the criticism of others, but finally dove into that pool of criticism and published “Remembering You.”

Although well received in the small circle of people that are connected however remotely to my life, books didn’t exactly fly off the shelves and that’s when I learned the next little thing….launching a debut novel just as the country locked down due to COVID-19 was a really bad idea!  The one and only book signing was cancelled almost before it was scheduled.  There were no author talks and the one retail store that carried the book closed for the duration.  Word of mouth was the only way books were sold.

In the meantime, convinced that the good reviews the book was generating online would mean publishers would jump all over publishing my next work, I started sending queries out to  publishers and agents.  Research into what those folks were looking for became a daily task.  I bought books, scoured websites and read reviews.  I even created spreadsheets to track when a query was sent in and when I could expect a response.  I was primed and ready for the success I had finally begun to believe would come.

That’s when the almost weekly slap in the face that is rejection began.  Couched for the most part in stock responses like “Your work is not quite right for us,” or “We don’t believe this work is marketable,” each rejection was a dagger to my heart and soul.  Before long I hated to even open my emails.

Then things changed. As soul crushing as each rejection became, it was a different kind of little thing that began to push me on. Complete strangers leaving a five star online review. People liking and following my Facebook author page. Readers stopping me in the street to ask when the next book would be published. Each ten second positive thing became a reason to continue on until that one email I had been waiting and hoping for finally arrived.

An offer of a publishing contract with a great company. A company beloved by its stable of authors who welcomed the newbie into their fold with advice and positive reinforcement and a willingness to share innovative ideas for how to build readership. They provided a cascade of little things that in the difficult journey to finding success as an author, have provided the boost that I need to keep going.

One of those little things happened this week. BookBub, a company that reportedly has 10,000 visits to their website each month, made me a recommended author! I have no idea how they select those recommended authors, but that little thing was pretty cool and after all the rejections I am not even embarrassed to brag about it.

I share this story in the hope that we all remember that little things…a kind word, a compliment, or even a smile exchanged with a complete stranger….can change a life. It’s something I strive to do each and every day and hope that you too can make it your goal to become one of those little things in the life of someone else. It can change the world for the better right?

Be well my friends…


Published by walkbal1372

Barbara A. Luker is the author of "Remembering You" (publication 2020) - a story of love, loss and finding the way back. She is a life-long resident of Saint Peter, Minnesota where she hones her writing craft working for the City of Saint Peter. Luker is a Certified Municipal Clerk, a devoted fan of the Minnesota Wild, and a supporter of numerous animal rescue organizations.

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