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reader e-mails

May 28, 2010

A fellow writer recently pointed out that listing all the mistakes and things that you have to keep in mind while writing can actually become frustrating and intimidating, especially for new writers.

And she’s right.

You might start to wonder why the heck would any sane person choose that kind of “hobby” (if you can call it that) voluntarily?

My answer: Because writing is not just hard work. It’s a passion, and it can be a lot of fun and very, very rewarding. Nothing is quite as satisfying as finishing a scene, a chapter, or even a novel and knowing it’s good. Or re-reading one of your stories years later and finding that you still like the characters. Or solving a plot problem that seemed insurmountable. And don’t get me started on how it feels to actually hold your published novel in your hands. I think I had a permanent grin on my face for about a week 🙂

And then there are the readers. Over the last few years, I had a lot of overwhelming reactions and wonderful e-mails that I keep for re-reading when I have a really bad day.

Today, I got one of those special e-mails. A reader from Russia contacted me. She read Second Nature and then discovered my author’s bio. One sentence caught her attention:

I also enjoy learning new languages. Russian is my latest project. I haven’t found any online stories using the Cyrillic alphabet to help me learn, though.

The reader from Russia promptly sent me links to Russian lesfic stories. How great is that? Not that my Russian language skills are anywhere near a level where I could actually read those stories. But still, it’s great to be part of a world-wide community and to have readers from all over the world contact me.

So thanks to all readers, wherever you are! You are part of what makes writing so special and so rewarding.


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2 comments

  1. Interesting! I took 4 semesters of Russian in college. Never managed to pass my oral exams, but could still generally read and write it up until my son was about 2. After that I never got time to practice, and so I’m super-rusty.

    I love reader emails too. They are definitely for keeping around for the bad days.

    About your writer comment, my advice to any writer who wants to be an author is ONLY worry about the story and characters in the first draft. The only “rule” of writing the first draft that you need to be aware of really is it WILL be the FIRST draft.

    Write down the story. If you stall yourself over semantics, or grammar, or whether this word fits or doesn’t, you will kill your muse. Consider your muse/inspiration/story an infant at that point, needing all your care and attention. You can teach it its letters and numbers when it reaches toddler-hood, but it needs everything you can give it in attention and “input” at the beginning, and, as long you care about the end result, virtually anything you give your baby will make it grow healthy. (That last is adapted from some pediatric advice, but I really do think it applies.)


    • I agree. Or as a friend of mine always says: You can’t fix a blank page. Write the first draft without worrying too much. Once you have written that first draft, you know your story and your characters and you can start fine-tuning.



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