Writing is largely a solitary, very intimate process. Your only companions are a group of pessimistic shadows and a chorus of inner demons proclaiming your words as drivel. And somewhere in that clamor is a sibilant hiss of threat that whispers, ‘One day you will work up enough nerve to share your drivel’. It’s an intimidating goal that is akin to a mental striptease.
At most, I was hoping for a polite audience. At worst, I was hoping I could dive off stage before the tomatoes started flying. But I never hoped to hope that my creation might invade a reader’s dreams as my favorite books have done to me. Below is a very kind message that a reader sent me and gave me permission to post:
“I wanted to thank you for writing a truly captivating novel. Rarely have I ever had a writer capture my imagination to the point that I’ve actually dreamt of the characters. Not since Anne McCaffrey, and her dragons.
You’ve an incredible talent Ms. Flynn, one I honestly look forward to reading more of. Thank you for a novel I’ll read with pleasure over and again. Regards, Laura.”
Whenever a reader takes the time to express their appreciation to an author, it’s like Arthur freeing the Sword in the Stone, it’s like Darth Vader picking up the Emperor, or Gollum biting off Frodo’s finger. For a shinning moment, a reader’s appreciation vanquishes the shadows of self doubt, mental jeers, and judgmental leers. Whether a new author or a best-selling veteran, I am sure the effect is never diminished.
So don’t hesitate to tell your favorite author how much their art means to you. Go ahead and gush your heart out and give them a great big bear hug (maybe ask first) and for a moment, you’ll be the hero who chases back their monsters.