This writer thing isn’t always a soothing experience. Creating something and putting it out in the world, desperately hoping that an angry mob doesn’t come to your house with pitchforks and flaming rolls of toilet paper, is quite normal among the writers of the world.
When I blogged, as a blogger and not so much as a big-pants WRITER OF BOOKS, in my About Me section, I explained that I wrote because I am compelled to do so. This hasn’t changed. Writing, sitting down and telling stories, is a compulsion and even if nothing ever gets published again (PLEASE GOD NO), I’m going to keep writing and shoving the works under my bed. I’m going to do this no matter what.
But you know what? I want this to be a thing that works and by that I mean, I’d like to be able to publish the things that I make up and have them go out into the world and have people read them and not want to sink me into the bottom of a lake. So I’m not only over here writing and keeping permanent butt dents in my chair, I’m also submitting and hedging my bets on the traditional publishing model.
Sometimes that is not an easy thing to live with. People in this business are insanely busy. Most of them have day-jobs that pay the bills so that they can get to the publishing thing after-hours, for love of the craft. So submissions stay out for months at a time, emails go unanswered for almost as long, and morale can tend to dip for the lowly writer, trying to stay motivated enough to keep the butt dents fresh in the writing chair.
That’s where the reader comes in. While I’m sitting here biting my fingernails to pathetic nubs, telling myself that I’m wasting my time in this chair and being my own worst nightmare critic, the lovely reader out there has saved me from myself many times. Those messages on social media that have let me know that my work was read and loved, the requests from followers for a recommendation of where to start on my published works, the fellow writer letting me know that they think I did good, oh my Cthulhu, those messages have saved me from the seductive softness of my couch and Netflix account many times. They have meant so much and have helped to keep that tiny fire in the center of me going hot.
So here’s the thing. If you’re a reader and you read something that you loved, let the writer know, especially if the writer is small time, working with small publishers or self-publishing their work. Find them and let them know that you are a fan of what they create because I can testify that you will make that person’s day. That one short comment could save them from their own doubt and cynicism and keep them creating. Maybe they’ve been waiting on feedback for weeks, or the rejections are piling up and things are looking bleak. That little comment from you letting them know that you thought their book was cool could reinvigorate them and let them know that the wait is worth it. And it only takes a minute of your time.
Love the writers, let them know they’re loved and the world will be full of stories that electrify you and keep you cognizant of how amazing life can be. Hell, do that with all of the world’s creatives. Let them know they’re seen and appreciated. How dry would this world be without art? I’m just partial to loving writers because, ya know.
Well said, Somer. It’s so hard to keep the faith sometimes, but if we’ve touched just one reader, it reminds us of what’s important. It makes the struggle worthwhile.
I am so glad you didn’t give up and got published with Samhain. Not only was your story one that will stay with me forever, you have greatly enriched my life. You have a huge heart, and are incredibly generous and kind. Don’t you dare ever give up now! You deserve the success you’ve worked so hard for.
Oh geez, Holli, you’re going to get me all misty-eyed over here! Thank you and I’m so very glad that I met you, my friend!
Great post, Somer!
Thank you, Glenn!