Monday, March 26, 2007

Writers Are a Strange Bunch

We writers are a strange bunch. I was just reading some of my favorite blogs while I was trying to figure out a few things with a scene I'm working on.

One of my favorite blogs is Miss Snark's. For anyone who doesn't know, Miss Snark is an anonymous literary agent who performs a great service (although she'd never admit it) to hapless writers everywhere. Anyway, tonight she had a link to the blog of a writer, Pat Wood, who regularly posts comments on Miss Snark's blog. Pat's post today is about getting the 2007 Putnam catalog and finding her book on the cover, and a two page spread inside. This is huge news for a writer.

I don't know Pat at all but when I read her post tonight, I was absolutely thrilled for her. I was almost as excited as when my friend Rebecca Drake, showed us the catalog featuring Don't Be Afraid. Every time an author I know--either personally or just through blogs--has a success, I'm happy for them.

I don't think this happens in any other profession. Like I said, we writers are strange. Maybe it's because we have to work so hard at what we do. Unlike so-called normal jobs, much of the time we work in solitude. It takes most of us years to accomplish even a modicum of success. Maybe that's why it's sweeter when one of us succeeds. All the writers I know are generous with what little time they have. They're willing to help other writers succeed. They don't look down on those who are just starting out. They don't forget that it wasn't that long ago they were in the same position.

I find it easy to cheer for my fellow writers. Every writer who succeeds makes it that much more possible for other writers to do the same. Unlike other jobs, there's room for all of us. We might be strange, but I wouldn't have it any other way.


Judy Schneider said...

Great post, Joyce!

Your words remind me of a scene I witnessed recently as my daughter's high school swim team came from behind and won the state title. The girls' expressions showed surprise or astonishment at first, and then came the tears.

One freshman girl said to me, "I didn't cry."

It was because she didn't know. She didn't know what it was like to come in second, but her older teammates did.

Similarly, Joyce, you are right that we should all celebrate the victories of our sister/fellow writers. After all, we know how much work it takes to get to the point of holding a catalogue that contains a picture of your book inside.

In many ways, writing is like swimming. If you don't have the fastest times, you get bumped from the relay. But if you can put the time in, splashing through the ebb of writer's block and the kicking in the flow of inspiration, you can swim the A-relay and experience the win.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Joyce.

Fellowship between writers is something unique and special. Some of my best friends--including you!--are those I've met on my writing journey. There's a kinship there you can't find anywhere else.

It's true that we're in this together. I'm always thrilled when one of my writer friends finds success. And when your book is published, I look forward to celebrating with you, too. Let's hope it happens soon!