(I wrote this and posted it on the ANWA blog and wanted to share it here, too.)
For every writer that wonders.
It's not like me to write a letter to someone I haven't met. I've read your book, your blog or your article and I feel like I know you, though. Words can do that. I go about my ordinary day which sometimes is crazy-busy and other times is dull and slow. Either way, reading what you've written picks me up, takes me to good places and by the time I'm done, I'm refreshed for the work I have to do. Thank you for that - that writing thing you do. Thank you for inspiring me, for stirring the life-loving part of me. You can do it with a chapter, sometimes with a sentence. You can make me laugh, cry or stare at the page in wonder. Writing, composing, and editing must not be easy. I imagine you must spend countless hours --or maybe you do count them if you're preparing for that Good Morning America Interview when Matt Lauer asks you "So how long did it take you to write this best-seller?" and even though you might not admit the truth of 10,542 hours - you want to know it so you can sheepishly say - "Oh, I don't know, Matt. Time flies when you are doing something you love." I hope you love doing it, because the world needs good writers like you.
I was thinking if writing were an Olympic Sport, you'd be a medal contender. Of course, the cameras would have to follow you for two years, rather than two weeks and they'd have to figure something out for the action -since typing can come across kind of slow on the screen. And you'd want to be sure not to to give your villains any foreign names because you wouldn't want to offend any of the international judges. Wait. Why am I talking about the Olympics? I was thinking of the sacrifices you must make as a writer that go completely unrecognized by most of the reading public. In our defense, it is not entirely our fault. The publishers never advertise the portion of your life you've dedicated to improving your craft and subsequently finding an agent and publisher that are willing to put your book on the shelf. The two paragraph bio on the glossy inside back cover gives the distinct impression that you've written books in between your first job at the hospital help desk and starting your vegetable garden. It's like their marketing strategy is to minimize, not celebrate, your hard work. Not to mention the time you spend wondering if you really could be doing something different with your life. Only, I hope you don't wonder about that. As your reader, I hope you know what you are doing with your amazing writing talent is priceless, irreplaceable and worth it. Worth all of it. I guess I can't really be the one to tell you what's right for you, your life, but I do know that no one can tell your story, at least not the way you can tell it. I thought it only proper to tell you I love to read what you write. And I hope you will keep writing, for your sake and mine.
Your Appreciative Reader