Can you imagine trying to camp in your tent during a hurricane? Guess who doesn’t have to imagine that feeling. If you guessed Bear Grylls, you’re probably right. But also, me! How did this happen, you ask? Well, sit back and let me grace your eyes with the story.
Long before my wife and I were married, we took a weekend camping trip. But we made one crucial error. We didn’t bother checking the forecast before we packed up the car. It was summer in Florida. We expected rain no matter what. How bad could it be? Well, turns out, hurricane bad. Yeah, oops.
It wasn’t a particularly bad storm. Maybe category one, at best. I’ve lived in Florida all my life, so I’m quite familiar with hurricanes. When my mom text me the day we were set to leave and told me there was a hurricane sitting in the gulf, I shrugged. It wasn’t that bad of storm. We might have some heavy rain, but it will probably move past quick. They sometimes do.
The first night, we were somewhat optimistic. The rain didn’t let up, but that was okay. We would hang out in the tent through the night. Play board games and enjoy the sound of rain on the tent. Except, we learned that my tent was no longer as waterproof as it had once been. We’re not talking full on leaks here, but enough to make the floor exceptionally wet. It was fine! We put towels down to keep the floor dry and stuck it out. We paid for this trip, damnit. We weren’t going to let a storm scare us away.
The next morning, guess what? That’s right. It was still raining. Only this time, things were getting worse. The winds were picking up. The storm wasn’t moving away. And what was worse, it was getting stronger. After a lot of radar checks, and concerned texts from my mother, we finally decided we were beat. The storm had won. So, we started packing it all up. Which was good timing on our part because a park ranger drove up and told us we had to leave right away. They had just called a tornado warning in our area and it was no longer safe to be there. Also, turns out, driving in hurricane conditions for about two hours is taxing!
So, how does this relate to writing or being an author, you ask? What makes this anecdote relatable to writers? Allow me to elaborate. Things won’t always go your way. You may write a killer a book that you had so much fun writing. The characters were amazing. The plot was top notch. Everything was perfect. Everyone you let proofread the book couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. And yet, the sales just aren’t there. It happens. Maybe I should restate that. It will happen. Maybe not that specific scenario. But something similar will happen. Perhaps you’ll go to a book fair or convention and hardly sell five copies of your signed books. Yeah, I know the pain from experience. It sucks. But it’s also a good time to learn.
What could you do differently? Make everything a learning experience throughout your career as an author. Take my hurricane example. We should have checked the weather a few days before the trip and decided to call it off. Now, we always check the weather leading up to the camping trip. If you attend a convention and didn’t sell well, what could you do different next time? Maybe your elevator pitch needs work. Maybe you’re too introverted. Maybe it wasn’t the right crowd. Try not to let it get you down. Use it as a chance to learn. Learn from everything. If you take anything from this post, let it be this. Every single thing you do as an author will be a great learning experience.
Until next time, keep wandering. Just not alone.
To cover up his search history, Evan Bond is a thriller/suspense author. As an outdoor enthusiast and horror lover, Evan Bond enjoys writing stories where the two come together. He lives in Florida with his wife and two sons.