One of the things I love best about being an author, is connecting with fans; hearing their thoughts on my writing, or simply receiving their good wishes for my success. The suggestions and or encouragement inspire me, and prod me to do better, as two such reader emails did this last week.
One reader emailed to point out a grammar error in one of my recent blog posts. A different reader emailed to tell me how she enjoyed my writing and was really looking forward to the next book. Both readers impressed me with their passion, and their willingness to reach out, connect with me and let me know they believe in me, my ability to handle well-meant criticism and use it as its intended—to improve—and in the value of my stories through their eagerness in anticipating the next one. It’s humbling, and heartening, when readers take the time to connect, let you know they care enough to help you avoid making the same mistake by pointing out the error of your ways. Care enough to share with you that they love your stories and want you to keep writing.
Connection is at the heart of writing. It’s why writers, write: to connect with feelings and images inside us by drawing them on the page with words so we can make sense of them, and share them with readers, even if the only reader is ourselves. There isn’t a poet, novelist, or journalist who doesn’t write for an audience of one first; and it is that one that must be most pleased with the final work.
I’m proud of my writing, my work. But I am not so arrogant as to believe my prose perfect, my stories or their construction, above reproach. If anything, I’m keenly aware that I’m still a student of the English language, and authoring in all its forms, and I always will be.
There will always be better writers. There will always be better books, better stories. And there will always be room for improvement for all of us no matter where we are in our journey as writers, readers, or simply people. No one is ever perfect, and for that, I’m grateful. It makes the messy business of life, and writing, sweeter, knowing we’re all capable of making mistakes and learning from them.
So please, if you’re reading this, or any of my work, and stumble across a typo, plot hole, or grammar fudge-up, connect with me. A polite, well-meaning email or private message sharing the where and what that jumped out at you, will always be welcome. And if you enjoyed something I wrote—a book or blog post—not only is your reaching out to me welcome, sometimes it’s needed. It can get a little lonely on this side of the page.
The fun of being alive is realizing you have a talent and you can use it every day so it grows stronger… And if you’re in an atmosphere where this talent is appreciated instead of just tolerated, why, it’s just as good as sex.