“Firsts” are like buttholes. Everyone has got one.

www.lakehousesofutah.com

www.lakehousesofutah.com

They are! Seriously, firsts really are like buttholes. There are several reasons why, but let’s keep it clean. To start, everyone must experience them at some time or another. First bounced check, first car impounding, first eviction notice…Ok, I promised to keep it clean! Firsts are hard, scary, and often make you feel like you want to dive under your covers and never come out.

But sometimes firsts are exciting, EPIC even. And those are the firsts I want to talk about. These firsts are those that CHANGE YOU. They leave an imprint in the deep recesses of your mind and the velvety folds of your heart. They shape the way you view the world, how you go about your daily routine, and most importantly, HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF. (This can be good or bad, of course, but we’ll save the “bad” for a rainy day.)

Back to my firsts. Strangely enough, I’ve had a lot of these exciting first moments this year. First book contract, first book cover, first printed book with my name on it (!!!), or at least the advanced reader copy, and just this past week I had another first. This one made me cry.

I received an email from My First Reviewer and the subject heading said: “This Book is Amazing!”, and then she proceeded to gush about Becoming Josephine.

I’ve had my critique partners say they enjoyed my book (I sighed in relief), my agent tell me she loved the book (I screeched), and my editor tell me she wanted to buy my book (I screamed, drank champagne, and danced pagan rituals), but I had never heard those magical words from a hardcore, straight up reader. Someone who would deliver the punches, without care of literati artifice and owe-you-somethings. So when that email arrived in my inbox, a whole new world opened for me. I was no longer a wannabe writer, someone with a goal and a plan and a contract. I became a bonafide, someone with a real book and real readers. My words (plus a rather large dash of heart and soul) were officially launched into the great wide world and someone actually liked, no, LOVED, my book!

This first was EPIC.

We experience firsts over and over again in some capacity. Some are not so good, some are catastrophic. Some are dark and smelly. But some…some CHANGE YOU FOR THE BETTER. Some revive your faith in yourself. Some give you wings to fly.

My advice? Be open to those first moments, come what may. They may be death-defying and scary, but they bring renewal, and we could all use that from time to time.

What are your favorite first moments? How did they change you?

 

 

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Heather Webb

Writer, Editor
Heather Webb is the author of BECOMING JOSEPHINE, her debut historical (Plume/Penguin 2014). A freelance editor and blogger, she spends oodles of time helping writers hone their skills—something she adores. You may find her Twittering @msheatherwebb, hosting contests, or hanging around RomanceUniversity.org as a contributor to the Editor's Posts. She is also the Twitter mistress for the popular Writer Unboxed. She loves making new reader and writer friends. Stop on by her website, Between the Sheets!

15 thoughts on ““Firsts” are like buttholes. Everyone has got one.

  1. A great first! It must be the week for first reviews. A book blogger emailed me yesterday to say she loved VINTAGE and wants to interview me. I had this rushing realization that my book is OUT THERE (though only in galleys). I expected to feel anxious, but instead I felt at peace. Like it’s meant to be.

  2. Omg, Heather, you’re hilarious! I love that you managed to go from buttholes to inspiration all in one post.

    I’m so happy for you and this latest first. That must be such an amazing rush, to realize that someone—a complete stranger—loves your book for everything it is.

    And my favorite first moment? There are so many, but I’ll have to say the one that’s freshest in my mind is getting the call from my agent when she told me that my publisher wanted to offer on my book. It’s one of those moments I’ll never forget.

    • Thank you, Natalia. I can’t tell you how exciting it was for me. And like you, the publishing contract was an absolutely out-of-this-world experience. We are blessed, aren’t we? 🙂 (And hard workers! lol)

  3. I’m with Natalia… The butthole headline cracked me up (pun intended). But what a serious message beneath the light headline. Congrats on this first. It’s so hard, isn’t it, being objective about our own work? That external validation that you’ve moved a complete stranger is definitely a first worth savoring. Enjoy it. I think you’ll be experiencing it again and again as your book continues on into the world of readers its destined to reach.

  4. You caught me by surprise when I clicked into the site! Immediately thought of “Beavis and Butthead” and the dopey laugh. “He. Hehe. She said ‘butthole.'” 🙂

    I love your message. Congratulations on the great review!

  5. Congrats, Heather! That is so great! I am swinging on the chandeliers with you, having some wonderful first reviews on the ARC of Castles, Customs, and Kings. And what really has me excited is the back and front cover blurbs. I don’t want to throw names around, but let me say- I am in heaven over that!

    I’m looking forward to Becoming Josephine someday. Well, that sounds odd, but you know what I mean.

  6. I love your first reader comment! Like you, my first experience with a “real reviewer” – someone who owed me nothing – was positive. The woman loved my book and said she was looking forward to the next one.

    I cried too.

    I’m so happy that you had this wonderful first to share – and I can’t wait to hear about all the fabulous reviews and compliments you and BECOMING JOSEPHINE receive in the future – because I know this is only the first of many to come!

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