Returning to my local branch of Waterstones

If I had to use a word to describe last year, it might be "gnarly". A word taken from a friend of mine across the pond that I've since adopted and one, indeed, that seems appropriate to describe a whole 365-day period. Several months after first walking in and chatting with the helpful bookseller there, today I returned to a local branch of Waterstones and had a chat with the bookseller I talked to all those months ago. I felt a sense of anticipation as I walked in.
We would frequent the same coffee shop and, after that first chat of our back in 2021, I would often see him in there and be gently reminded: "You've said you're working on this book of yours, Jas... you'd best get to finishing it now". I think a part of me felt that I would seem silly if I were not to finish that book. Today we talked about our familiar coffee shop across the road (it's since had a fresh makeover), I shared the news of my paperback's release and, again, Nick was as helpful as ever. I shared some of my own experiences as an independent author and the choices I have been making, and Nick helped fill in some of those gaps with information about bookshops, local authors, and getting one's book(s) stocked on shelves in the likes of Waterstones. I think this year is going to be about showing up with an openness and having more of these one-on-one interactions. They might not always be the most easy and comfortable interactions to go into, but honest exchanges between one and another are so important - and meaningful.
Jas Hothi is a writing coach, blogger & author of The Indie Author. READ HIS BLOG or SIGN UP FOR HIS NEWSLETTER to receive a free copy of his book, The Indie Author.