So I was originally going to title this post, "I gave him my heart, he gave me a pen" and discuss reviews and how to weather them and all of the feelings that come with public critique. But the fact is, I don't really know the answer to that and I'm sure there are many writers out there with way more skills in teaching you to develop a thick skin than I have.
Instead, I'm going to blog about writers. So as some of you know, I just got back from a writer's retreat in Savannah with my online author debut group The Fourteenery (yes, my debut is 2013, but it's pretty late in the year so they let me slide in).
Here's the thing about writers: when you meet them, wherever they are in the process, they are generally so FOR you. I suppose there is competition and weirdness about publishing and indie vs traditional and for hire writers vs stand alone writers and commercial vs literary vs whatever the hell you call my broken kind of writing (psychopathological drama?), but I have been pretty lucky in not experiencing that. Mostly, I've been completely gobsmacked by the kindness and love of other writers.
I see it every day, all over the place. A general willingness and excitement for others to succeed. I see writers offering crits and feedback to other writers. I see writers beta reading and helping line edit and generally supporting other writers on days of suck. The fact of the matter is: we are each other's biggest allies. We promote each other's books, we read, we tell people about the books we love, we buy books as gifts, we go to book signings, we squee online when cover reveals happen, we congratulate and console. This is the writer life.
And it mostly happens online, which for some people is a bit weird. But to be honest, this is where our colleagues are unless we go to retreats or conferences. So I guess you sort of need to get used to it. And be willing to put yourself out there a little bit.
The bottom line: I adore you, writer friends of mine. I'm grateful for your presence and for all the gifts you give me. I hope you all succeed. I hope you sell the books and are happy with your lives. You all deserve it.
P.S. Speaking of conferences, Jolene and I and many of you all are going to SCBWI in LA in one week. I love this conference because I get to see old friends and I get to see Jo who lives in Alaska so it isn't easy for us to connect otherwise. And I'm so very grateful for this. For all my writer people. Come find me if you're there. I'm the sort of tall, loud one.