Response to A Writer’s Path

Well, of course, I can’t find the original post (I’m almost certain it was entitled “HOW NOT TO PROMOTE YOUR NOVEL” or something close to that) on A WRITER’S PATH — why not a search box? At any rate, the post was a rant against self-absorbed, self-centered writers who wish to promote their novel on social media. I recognized myself in this post — yes, I don’t particularly like to read blogs; yes, I know there are thousands upon thousands of novels published each year; yes, I know few people are interested in discovering an unknown writer; yes, I know I should read other writers’ novels; yes, I know I can be annoying when I post about my latest work, etcetera.

I stop here to ask — what novelist is not self-centered?

After all, a novelist — one who actually sits down and writes a 50,000 plus manuscript — is alone most of the time. A novelist — one who creates another world filled with imaginary persons doing imaginary things with each other — is completely absorbed in his or her creation. A novelist — one who writes multiple stories over many years — has little time for much else (especially if writing these novels brings no or only little money to their bank accounts) other than writing and the work that pays the bills.

As for reading other novelists — I don’t have time for that anymore. I used to read. In fact, as a young person, you would not have seen me without my nose stuck in the pages of a real book. I read all the time. In fact, if I didn’t write now most of my time, I’d still be reading.

Presently, I keep writing while I continue to share my work with others. I don’t write for myself (like I did as an adolescent in angst). Instead I write for others — for my very small fan base, which I am trying to establish on my own, without much help from anyone else — except them.

Thanks, little fan base! Thanks.

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My Second Love

Today, during a much needed Starbucks break, I met Molly, an employee assistance specialist at the hospital.

She kindly asked me what I do. I told her that I am a speech pathologist. She said, “So you work with children.”

I shook my head that I don’t work with children. “I work with adults, here at the hospital.”

“Rewarding?”

“Oh, extremely,” I said, with my usual big smile. Then, I think I’ll tell her more. I say, “It’s my second love.”

“Oh, what’s your first?”

“Writing.”

“Oh, what do you write?”

I laugh, get out my silver business card case, open it. I say, “Never ask a writer what she writes; she’s liable to tell you.” I hand her my DooRFrame Books card, and tell her about METAL MAN WALKING and a little bit about ANNIE DREAMING.

She takes my card, smiles, tells me she writes, too. “Well,” she admits, “I aspire to write but I haven’t had any inspiration in over a year.”

I tell her about the discipline involved in writing. I tell her, “Write 1500 to 2000 words a day. Then you’ll be a writer. Just like that.”

She nods.

I ask her to consider purchasing my novels.

We shall see…