One of the most important things I've learned is that, once a book is published, it's no longer mine. I don't mean that it belongs to a publishing company. I mean that it belongs to my readers.
As all writers try to do, I bring a unique perspective to my books, because I bring so much of myself to the writing. But, once that book is in your hands, it belongs to you. You bring at least as much as I do to the story and that colors in the lines very differently. As a result, we each read a different book. While this may mean you don't enjoy the story, it has come to mean something much more than that to me.
Each time a reader engages with me, in response to a story, I learn more about it. Just as teaching a subject deepens our understanding of it, hearing from my readers deepens my own understanding of my stories. The insight they share with me, the way the characters in the stories touch them and change them, all of that has affected me deeply.
I'm two years in, as far as publishing goes, and I have to say that, so far, my books are in very good hands.