You like that eye-grabbing title? Now, if I could only keep the content as compelling. You see, that’s the job of a writer!
That’s not really where I wanted to go with this. See, I spent time this weekend thinking about the nature and nurture of this new mantle I have donned as a “writer” or author, novelist, scribe. For the last ten plus years, I’ve been scribbling stories to entertain myself and the fact is, with the exception of one about a nurse, every story entertains me. I reassure myself regularly if that if I decide not publish my work I’d still be happy and I think I would. However, working as a published writer has provided some unexpected perks. Of course, I’m thrilled my work is selling and even happier that people like it.
I’ve met hundreds other readers and writers with whom to share stories and ideas. Even after two years, I’m tickled every time I get an e-mail or comment from a reader saying they just picked up one of my books and liked the story, or the characters, or the scenery, or whatever. I know it sounds silly, but it still surprises me. I have been especially touched by the people who have written to say that my story resonated on a very deep level because of personal experience or that of a loved one. Those are the ones that mean the most.
So, it isn’t just about entertainment. The deeper we go as writers the closer we get to our readers. I can think of a half dozen books right now that touched me so deeply that I can still feel the impact even if at this moment, I can’t describe why or how it touched me. It’s an uncanny connection we form between the writer and the reader.
Here’s another surprising I’ve learned. I’m not the only introvert who writes books! I Know, shocking. First, I want to be clear: Introverts are not necessarily shy, they may be very outgoing. Conversely: Extroverted individuals may be very shy. Introversion/extroversion has to do with “energy” not shyness. I’m a pretty enthusiastic person and I love talking to people and having a good time, frequently I’m the last one to leave the party. However… It absolutely exhausts me! A Daylong event or long evening will put me on the couch for an entire day. Seriously. I can’t speak to the reaction of other introverts but I can say that an amazing number of very talented writers are either introverts or very shy. Trust me.
Why is this important? Because as an author, it falls to me to promote not only my books but myself in order to reach more people who may be interested in my work. Even the effort of blogging, or actively participating in other social media such as: Goodreads, Face Book, Twitter, list serves, professional organizations, or even local groups demands an exhausting number of hours of interacting. Need.More.Sleep. More quiet, more “down time”.
With that amount of exposure and interaction, it seems like we’re all one big happy family. And, in a sense, we are. Here’s the sticky wicket: “virtual” friends and family provide a wonderful community but are not the same as hands on in person relationships. Some of us are very private people and most of us are very protective of our personal lives. I respect the privacy of my peers, many of whom I consider good friends. I also respect the privacy of my readers who may have shared personal information with me. I consider this nothing more or less than Good Manners.
(if this picture was anyone but GB, I would consider it a Boundary Issue)
Virtual anonymity provides access we are not privy to in real life. It works, only if we all respect those boundaries. Physical boundaries are easier to understand in the context of face-to-face meetings. How close do you stand to perfect strangers when you’re speaking to them, 2 feet? 3 feet or more? And just what kind of questions would you be comfortable answering? Just some food for thought…
Now the teasingly tauntingly topic of “grass” < snickering> I was quite literally referring to grass. Blue grass, fescue, crab, or prairie. Since the wind driven hailstorm 10 days ago strafed the high desert around my house (and the roof, fascia boards, and windows) I’m once again looking at green grass budding.
When I lived in the Midwest, it was a big deal to thatch the lawn every year to get rid of the dry dead undergrowth so new grass could grow. Well, that’s exactly what all those little ice crystals did. Giant weed whacker. Cleared away the old growth so that new little blades of grass could grow. It’s thrilling. If we continue to get little more rain, there will be new flora for the bugs, the birds, and all the other critters.
Sorry for the ramble <g>
Thanks for stopping by hope you have a good week.