Words to a young writer just starting out

 What do you expect now
 that you’ve just published your first book
 with a small, independent, ideally respected press?
 That the whole world will open up to you
 and bow down at your feet?
 That your genius will be trumpeted
 and sung from every mountaintop
 or at least one well-known reviewer
 will not just say nice things but take notice?
 That your book will be read
 by discerning readers and scholars,
 adopted by book clubs,
 nominated for prestigious prizes,
 and reviewed anonymously on Amazon
 by people outside your friends and family?
 That your world will change overnight?
 That you will change overnight?
 That you will speak in more complete
 sentences, that your writing will carry
 more weight? Please dear God,
 I hope you weren’t hoping
 or waiting for a movie contract,
 perhaps an agent to snap you up
 on the track record of a few hundred sales?
 The world will go on turning.
 It will be the same old world as yesterday.
 You will be the same old person,
 even if you are young.
 Most people won’t read your book.
 It won’t change their lives.
 More importantly, it won’t change yours.
 Only you are in control of that.
 And that’s not through writing a book
 but through your soul.
 But young (or old) writer, rejoice.
 You have earned your small place
 on a challenging mountain
 where people regularly go missing,
 are lost in storms,
 and fall into deep crevasses,
 or worse, give up and head back.
 Look out around you, still in the foothills,
 Heat yourself a cup of tea
 on your camping stove
 and gaze up at the sky.
 Give thanks for finishing your book.
 Take courage and ready yourself
 for next year’s climb. 

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