Thursday, May 5, 2011

On being a writer

Sorry I missed last week—I had Internet “issues!” And this week I was at a bit of a loss when it came to coming up with a topic, but Casey’s little “P.S.” yesterday gave me an idea while it reminded me of one of the reasons I love being an author.

Over the years, I’ve worked a lot of different jobs, especially as a teen and young adult, and I can truly say that there’s never been one that I’ve found as rewarding and fulfilling as this one. Not only do I have the opportunity to challenge myself (is that next book going to be a hit or a miss???) and meet a lot of wonderful readers, but I’ve had the chance to enjoy the camaraderie that exists among writers.

Let’s be honest—in the workplace one is always running into those who resent seeing someone else succeed. There can politicking going on behind the scenes and in some environments, one meets those who pat you on the back with one hand while knifing you with the other. That has never been my experience when it comes to meeting and getting to know other writers! And when you stop and think about it—that’s rather remarkable. After all, in a way, we are all competing against one another for that space on the bookstore’s shelf--for that reader’s hard earned dollars--but it’s something that never comes into play. All the authors I know are more than willing to applaud your success and commiserate with you when things are “less” than what you’d hoped!

Not only that—they’ll bend over backwards to help you. Need a website designer…an inexpensive printer to do two thousand postcards? Not a problem—let me hook you up with this guy I know and here’s the site of the online printer I use. (Stephen Zimmer’s recent response to my marketing woes.) Need a blurb? Sure—I’ll take time out of my busy life and away from working on my own “stuff” in order to read your four hundred page manuscript! (Casey and Kris Neri’s answer when I asked them to take a peek at LOVE LIES BLEEDING.) Got a problem with one of your characters? Just give me a call and we’ll work it out. (What Tamara Siler Jones responded even though she knew said phone call would probably take a couple of hours!!)

A few years ago, I was in Los Angeles for a Sisters’ In Crime event and several of us (Donna Andrews, Dana Cameron, Denise Swanson, Carolyn Hart, Jo Dereske, Patricia Sprinkle) got together for dinner and a couple of drinks. Later, when I returned to my hotel room, I felt like going down on my knees and thanking the powers that be for the opportunity to hang out with a group of such wonderful women and for allowing me to be a writer. And you know something?? After six years—I still feel the same way!

That’s it for this week—see you next Thursday!


Casey said...

Amen, Shirley. Mystery writers are the best!

Sharon S. said...

aw, that post makes me feel a warm and fuzzy inside :) In a world where everyone is out for themselves, it is nice to hear something like this.