Friday, September 23, 2011

What I REALLY Love About Writing

There's lots to love about being an author, I won't lie to you. Yes, it's hard work, it's time consuming, at times it's pull-your-hair-out frustrating and I question why I waste my time punching these little keys so many times. There's moments when I just want to throw in the towel and never look at a computer again.

But when I hold my own book in my hands, the book I spent hours, days, weeks, months crafting and honing and polishing, the book I literally poured my heart and soul into, man, it's all worth it. And when I see my book on the shelf in a bookstore or a library a sense of real accomplishment fills me to running over and I forget the heartache and frustration.

So what's my favorite part about being an author? The people, of course. I love words, but interacting with people makes the words worthwhile.

Nothing excites me more than connecting with readers via email, Facebook, or in person. I love hearing what they thought of the characters, the plot, the twists and turns. Were they scared at the right places? Did they laugh when I wanted them to? Did they cheer for the protagonists and boo and hiss at the villain?

Were they touched? Did the story make them think, feel challenged or inspired?

Sometimes the common bond I share with my readers opens doors for deeper conversations about life and family and God. About the struggles with which we all wrestle, those monsters in life, about sorrow we must endure, joy we celebrate. Through the characters and themes in my book I make a connection with the reader, we share a moment in life together and, even if only temporary, a union is formed.

I recently had a young man connect with me after reading one of my books and share some real struggles he's been trudging through, tough stuff. He felt comfortable talking to me because of the book I'd written and the way the story touched him.

Folks, that's heavy stuff. I feel the weight of that responsibility and don’t take it for granted for one minute. For me, that's when this writing thing and all the baggage that goes with it is worth every minute of time I put into it. It's about people, it's about the reader, it always has been and always will be.

1 comment:

Bruce Hennigan said...

Just this past Tuesday, I found that yellow package in the mail, tore it open with trembling fingers, and beheld my latest book. I've had four books published by now, but the thrill is always the same -- overpowering, overwhelming, unbelievable.

But, more overwhelming is the response to something you've written from a person whose life has been altered for the better. I agree with you, Mike. All it takes is one email from a person who read your book and something in it touched them on a deeply personal level prompting them to reach a deeper relationship with God. That is what I live for! I want good reviews. I want my book to sell so I can write more. But, I long for; I crave those positive responses. A life well lived is one in which God uses our gifts and talents and skills to change the world and touch the life of another for the Kingdom! I keep remaining myself of that truth and it keeps me humble and open to the moving of God in my work.

Thanks for the post and for the gentle reminder that is all about the reader!!!