You can’t wait for it, will it, pay for it, or do it yourself, but every once in awhile, a blessing comes to writers. Something that re-energizes, that affirms beliefs, keeps the writing going. When it comes, embrace it, live in that moment as it is presented to you, and accept what it gives you; there is no guarantee it will be coming around again any time soon.
For me, it was a call from a long lost friend. There had been 25 years or more since the last time I had seen him, and when he was brought back into my life, it was a fantastic surprise. But not a story book ending. The guy works two jobs, but can’t hold on to them because corporate America keeps shipping those jobs overseas. He’s working 16-hour days working jobs at a pay rate lower than he deserves, and too low to buy the comfort he wants for his family. He deserves better, as do so many other good, hard-working Americans. At the very least, he should be able to find some happiness every once in awhile.
Last night he called to thank me for providing that for him. You see, my old, overworked friend had ordered my debut novel City of Woe from Amazon.com. He called to say he was on page 160 and needed to say thanks. This has never happened to me. This guy who works two-thirds of the day took the time to give my work a chance. That in itself is astounding. And once he got going, he went to his bookmarks and read me lines he loved, passages he appreciated, jokes and music references he completely understood, and, in the process, completely convinced me I had done something right with my life.
So, what am I doing here, bragging? I hope you don’t see it that way. I believe I am sharing a truth too often hidden to creative people; we almost never know whom we have an impact on, whom we thrill, or help escape, or give some form of relaxation to, or where, or when it happens. So I offer this wonderful experience to all of you. Share it with me because odds are, there is someone, somewhere, somewhen experiencing similar appreciation for your work.
Drink it in with me, feel it fuel you, and write on.