#thursdaythrowback The cover of Shiny Side up was taken just outside Capadochia Turkey. The next day I wiped out on gravel & lost half my knee cap. But I'm feeling pleased as punch to have ridden to the top of a sandy hill right there. Writing that book taught me so much about what it is to be an author. (And yes sometimes being a creative means feeling like you've let a lot of blood & even parts of your body on the side of the road. But it's less dangerous. It just feels the opposite 😜). When I first started publishing my writing it was in the early stages of Indy publishing. I had begun to listen to The Creative Penn and the fact that I could just click upload and my book would be on freaking Amazon was mind blowing. And so I began to tentatively venture forth into the publishing world. One of my dreams was to write a book in Thailand. I still remember that feeling of sitting outside our hut & finishing Iceland: A Stormy Motorcycle Journey. There are a lot of mistakes in that book. (I didn't properly edit it) but it dominated the Iceland list for months, staying at number 1. There I learned about best seller lists. You can sell 3 copies & still be number 1. Because no one is buying. I learned about bad reviews (1 guy complained it read like a bad vacation. Which confused me because I LOVED Iceland but we had a lot of bad weather. Hence the stormy in the title. And we did end up in hospital for a couple of days). I also learned about people who instead of reviews send you direct emails telling you how much they loved your book & you captured their homeland so perfectly they are both homesick and inspired to do their own journey. And you realize not everyone will get you. Even the perfectly edited book. But those that do understand & connect on an entirely different level. And that keeps you going. Eventually one day (& multiple times throughout your career as you keep learning) you realize that being able to make a living writing is an amazing gift you can give yourself if you just LET yourself have it. If you're called Write. Let the readers decide if it's good. Learn from that. Improve. But don't stay locked in a cage of fear.