It’s pretty obvious: Writing is a lonely pursuit.
One holes up in one’s “office” (any place conducive to a self-hypnotized state) for hours on end, hoping to sweat out precious words onto blank pages. Day in and day out. Rain or shine. Inspired or not. But always consumed by a desire to project abstract thoughts into just the right words that would spring alive on paper so that one can share them with the world.
Therein lies the biggest challenge that many writers, including this one, wrestle with. For writing is both self-expression and an act of sharing. One always strives to stay true to oneself, but depending on the set of skills one is born with (talent) or has acquired over time (craft), the result of such self-expression may resonate with the public at large or simply end up a fallen tree in the forest—with nobody around to take notice.
Thus any feedback from readers becomes a link that connects writers to the world and lets them know if their lonely effort has cast some ripples out there. And positive feedback means connection with like-minded people, about the biggest reward a writer can hope for unless he or she happens to write just for the pure joy of writing. A kind word from readers is more than a stroke for the writer’s ego; it’s a connection made.
It is therefore with joy and gratitude that I welcome any positive feedback from my readers, be they friends and relatives or unknown strangers who have cared to pick up a copy of my book. It feels even more special when such encouragement comes from peers in the industry—fellow book lovers, writers, editors, publishers, reviewers etc. On this holiday weekend, I am very happy and humbled to share that I have just received a thumbs-up from such a circle of peers: Earlier this week, Once Upon a Mulberry Field was chosen as the 2014 Grand Prize Winner (for Fiction) of the annual book contest sponsored by LuckyCinda Publishing in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area). This area is fertile writing ground since many “snowbirds” and artists retire there to write, so there was plenty of competition.
Click here to see the complete announcement on the 2014 LuckyCinda Book Contest website.
One tiny ripple in the vast pond of readership. One major boost of confidence to a fledgling author. Some how, some way, by trial and error and good fortune, I have managed to get a couple of things right.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!