Taking a moment to appreciate the magic
I had a wonderful conversation with a reader this morning. He had heard about the free eBook giveaway for Ed Morris‘s There Was a Crooked Man and wanted to know how to lay hands on a print copy. (Amazon, which can never quite get the dates right, is amazingly late in getting the Trade Paper version of Crooked Man live on their site. Probably trying to make up for the time they listed one 6 weeks before its pub date.) We started by email, but soon he picked up the phone. And that was when I re-encountered the magic of what I do every day.
The reader (his name is Jason) made a point of telling me that he knows Ed Morris; they went to high school together, and he remembers how Ed was always The Creative One. I shared with Jason what an enormous kick I get out of working with Ed, and how quickly his star is rising. We took care of the business for which Jason had called and I went about my business.
A few minutes later, it struck me: what a magical thing it is that those of us in the book business do every day. Everything comes down to the readers in this business, of course; but they are not who we talk to, day in and day out. Our days are full of talking with other authors, with agents and members of the book trade, and press in-genre and out. And all those people spend their days on the business of books, too; it’s easy for all of us to think it’s normal.
But Jason gets it, where most of us don’t remember on a daily basis: this is magic. For people not in the book business, the wonder of books and authors is readily apparent, and all the rest of the stuff we think about every day is beyond imagining: because, of course, it’s not really relevant to the experience of reading, of opening up a book and having realities of which we’d never dreamed come to life in our heads.
Strange how all of us who are in this business came to it because we were in love with the magic. And yet as soon as we begin working in the business every day, we forget it’s magical at all.
It’s not just those of us in the book business who fail to see the magic in the things we do every day, of course. All of us think our daily lives are normal, while at least some element of what we do is like magic to people who see it only from the outside. All the blessings we enjoy every day, all the wonder in which we take part: they are our particular magics.
We can’t exist in a state of constant wonder over our own lives, of course; not and get anything done. But today, I’m glad I’ve been reminded of all the wonder in my daily life.
I make books. Every day. Surely I am one of the luckiest people on the planet.