The local newspaper ran a story about area writers groups last week, and since then ours has received several requests from writers interested in joining. Since our group is full, we’ve been asking for samples, so as not to turn away those who are truly talented.
Talent level or not, what’s come across in those submissions has been the desire to write, the need in most of us to have our words and ideas taken seriously, to know that what we believe has value. When we write, we tell our readers, “This matters,” and then we send it out to lit journals and agents and hope that somewhere, someone agrees. It takes a teaspoon of courage to lay it out there and face rejection after rejection.
Writers cope with all that because the rush we get when a piece is finished, whether it gets published or not, is gratifying, so much more gratifying than the faux self-worth lavished on us by the media and corporate marketing firms. You know, the “Windows 7 Was My Idea,” and “Amazon Reader Reviews” type bullshit that’s crafted to make the average moron believe s/he is somehow special to the companies’ decision makers. (Really, if my call were important, then I would have been talking to someone twenty minutes ago.)
So let’s make today Say Something Nice to a Writer Day. If you know a writer, and know the struggle s/he goes through to get the words down everyday, and the long odds against pieces being published, and the near impossibility of career success, then take a moment and give that person an encouraging word today. Just something like, “Your writing made me think about something important,” or “I like what you said about…” Your writer will appreciate it.