A very acclaimed author said to me just this morning, “We need to help each other. This business is sometimes very lonely.”
How many times have I heard that? It’s disheartening, really. We work so hard to write our stories because we want to share them. The flip side of that is how isolated writers often feel. We chose to spend a lot of our time alone and then, we creep out into the light to offer our hard work up for gut-wrenching evaluation from critics and fans, peers and strangers. We hope that the words that we have dredged up from the very center of our souls will ring true and powerful and bring meaning to how we experience life.
And then…we wait. Alone. Because no matter how many people pat us on the back to say they loved the work, read the work, shared the work — or even those who were disappointed in the work — the influence and reach of a book is hard to measure. Numbers lie. Time sometimes doesn’t tell. And so, we don’t really know what we’ve accomplished except that we’ve followed our hearts, had some glorious moments and some heartache, and hope somewhere, somebody has picked up the book, turned the page, and discovered what we intended.
I started to write this post about how we should support each other, not just as writers, but as human beings. It went something like this:
If we have the opportunity to sing someone’s praises, we should take it. If we’re offered a ride, we should scoot over and make room for one more. If we can’t find common ground, we should get out our shovels and dig til we’ve built it for ourselves.
But it sounded too much like a sermon or a scene out of Pollyanna. And then I was inspired, as I ALWAYS am, by another writer and the indomitable DIXIE CARTER, who would have been 73 years old today.
I think she says it all right here. I hope I’ll always support the people in my life with flaming batons…