While I was doing the epic clean-up of my home office, I came across that offending first ever contract. I've gotten over my horror (mostly) at the rights I signed away. Thank God it was only a greeting card bit of writing.
Now for the happy side. Remember back in the olden days when we mostly communicated by handwriting or typing messages on paper? We'd stuff our precious little snowflake letter or note into an envelope, paste a stamp on it, and truck to the mail box or even all the way to the post office to send it out into world. Well, back then I used to occasionally get fan mail. Yeah, that makes a writer feel all warm and giddy. I came across this stack tucked away, many from back in the 90s when my first book NIGHT MAGIC. One started out, "To my favorite author". How's that for a pick-me-up? This was in a time when there were no eBooks, print only. I wrote romantic suspense, and we would put "Dear Reader" notes in book, and along with our mailing addresses (P.O. Boxes of course. Read on and you'll see the wisdom of never giving out your home address).
I will tell you straight out - I haven't gotten fame or riches from writing. Oh sure, I've gotten paid. But I kept my day job mostly (except for one year my sugar daddy paid the bills- my loving late husband). Writing is lonely, and many days when you sell one book all month you wonder if you've got the creative equivalent of bad breath scaring readers away! And then a something, just one small blip, brightens your cloudy day. I didn't get a ton of fan mail, but I treasure every line someone took the time to write to me.
Ever so often when I got discouraged back then, I'd read through those letters. That was one of my self-care strategies to remind myself that someone did indeed enjoy my scribbles. Another way was being out in the sunshine. A walk, or a ride on a pretty day breathes life back into me.
So take care of yourself. List out the activities that make you feel good, or even people who feed your soul; things that bring sunshine into your cloudy day. Recognize when your in the dumps, stop and do what makes you happy. Or call that one person you know will put a smile on your face. Take care of yourself!
I And then there were the letters from guys in prison who wanted my address, and in one case a pair of my panties. But that's another post.