For those of us who feel as if we have been writers since we could first spell—at least phonetically– and draw illustrations in crayon for our stories—there is an electrifying shock of energy to be had when we open ourselves up to first-time writers.
I have been getting these surges channeled through a new relation named Randy, my daughter-in-law’s boyfriend. His brother, Erik (whom I have not yet met) has written a book. If you think of yourself as a writer, you may be muttering, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. . . . so what. I’ve written/published several of those.”
Randy assures me Eric never thought of being a writer. Erik simply obeyed an urge to fictionalize the story of his family, and spent four years (and forty-odd chapters) doing it. It is the energy and enthusiasm with which Randy narrates Erik’s experience that are consistently electrifying. “I could never do something like that,” confides Randy. “I am not much of a reader. I have probably read ten books in my entire life, whereas my brother has always been a voracious reader. “
Erik’s plans? “He told me he doesn’t have a clue what to do next, except revise before he sends the manuscript to a professional editor.” Randy and Erik’s mother loves the book—the seasoned writer may shrug. Naturally. Every writer’s parent(s) loves the book. Randy and his daughters adore the book. Erik is happy to have written it.
Each time I hear of Erik’s book, I come away moved by this enthusiasm so strong it emanates from a brother who says he doesn’t read much. We writers tend to be isolated people, and our energies can be sapped by rejection, work, illness, the economy, need of new marketing strategies—even when we have known a fair share of past success. What do we need? Energy.
Randy last spoke of Erik’s book at a little girl’s birthday party. The place was rocketing with the energy of twelve excited little girls, playing together.
Writers need each other, be they seasoned or first-time. We need each other’s energy, ideas, enthusiasm, experience, appreciation and knowledge. Blogging is an acknowledgment of this need, but physical gatherings at conferences, seminars and book signings are just as important. Energy transmits best in person. In a struggling economy, there is no better time for writers to come together.