Friday, 11 February 2011

Writers like their valentines cards to have 5 stars attached.

So Valentine's day is near. Now what would be the best way to show your love and appreciation to your favourite writer?
Well, I have a suggestion. Write them a review full of praise and love and then stick 5 beautiful glittery stars next to it. And then, if you're feeling really generous write them a personal note about something in their book. You see writers, well most of the ones that I know, may look super confident, full of self belief and self assured but on the inside they're a mass of wibbling, insecure and frightened jelly.

Writing a novel, and then going about getting it published is a risk. When that novel goes out there on its own into the big wide world - the writer is putting their head above a parapet, and there is a very big possibility that they might just face a row of machine gun-slinging critics, which are only to pleased to fire a few word bullets right into the heart. The writer is a vulnerable being because it's not just a product that they're putting out, it's part of themselves.

So when a writer opens their mail box, with nervous hand and slight cold sweat at the horror that might be contained, there is an overwhelming sense of relief (quickly followed by ecstatic happy dance) when they are faced with comments not of criticism and nitpicking but of love and enthusiasm.

What has prompted this post, you may well ask. Well let me share with you the following snippets from my mailbox this morning, (not because I'm showing off - well okay just a little bit - but becuase it leads on to the rest of this blogpost.)

"I just received my signed ARC copy of "The Forest of Adventures" yesterday, and I have to say it is one of the most beautiful paperbacks I've ever laid eyes on."

"I love this book! I couldn't put it down. I just couldn't get enough of it. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I loved all of the characters, the plot, the writing. I think it is safe to say that there is nothing about this book that I didn't love. I need more. "

"The Forest of Adventures had exquisitely written words that were so descriptive that the reader could feel that they were there. Each chapter, paragraph or sentence had it's own beauty that it was simple to get swept away in the story of Mina, Blake and Sammy. "

Nice one - I think you'd agree. But I'm being slightly glib about something that has a more serious core. No writer I know and speak with, feels confident that their work is above dislike. Each one always says, immediately following discussion of their own work, how they wish they were as good a writer as. X or Y. How they envy H's ability to construct prose, or P's ability to create character etc.

A writer's life is one of a constant battle with self doubt and lapses in confidence, so when you open your mailbox to find that somebody actually likes what you've done, you can not imagine the relief and subsequent grin that spreads across the face.

So here's your chance to share your best, most uplifting reader's comment. Spread the love! (Don't forget to tell us what book it was for and add a link as well.)

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