Monday, March 5, 2012

The Best Thing About Being a Writer

Congratulations to all the Whitney finalists, a number of whom contribute to this blog. Any sour grapes I might have about not being one of them are squished into juice by the fact that I can't come over to Salt Lake to attend the gala anyway, so it's probably a good thing I'm not expected to. (Also I am now in the happy position of being a judge, so I get to read all those wonderful books!)

That must be such a wonderful thing, though. Imagine writing a book, and knowing that enough people loved it that they will invite you to a glittering evening to be cheered and clapped by your peers and given accolades and recognition for your talent. Such pride, such an accomplishment, such a moment. (At this point I think I need to mention Bono who, when collecting an award for his music last year, made the noteworthy acceptance speech; "I've received a lot of these things over the years, but I'd just like to say that this one is the most ... recent.")

Could receiving awards be the best thing about being a writer? I don't think so.

I'm currently awaiting delivery of a box of books. My latest effort, No Escape, was published last month, and fifteen copies are winging their way across the Atlantic to me (Actually limping their way rather slowly.) I love that moment of tearing off the parcel tape and holding a beautiful freshly printed copy of my very own work, then leafing through it to see how my creation looks in print. It's one of the best things about being a writer. But not the very best.

Royalties cheques are pretty good too. I'm quite fond of those. But they tend not to include as many digits as the public might suppose (mine don't anyway) so while they are nice, being paid is not the best thing about being a writer.

I've had a couple of compliments recently from people who've read my books, and that's great. It's even better when they put reviews saying how much they enjoyed the book on sites like Amazon, Goodreads and Shelfari, or on their blogs or Facebook. Good reviews are a wonderful thing about being a writer, but for me unfortunately the occasional bad review negates them all.

So what's the best thing about being a writer? I think it's something that happened to me yesterday. It's when an idea, or a line, or a plot twist pops into your head, and you just can't wait to get to the computer to get it down, and when you do you get completely absorbed for what might be hours but feels like minutes, and when you finally stop you've written over 1,000 words, and your story is moving and connecting and making sense. I'm sorry that's such a long sentence, but it's exciting!

To sum up, the best thing about being a writer is writing.

1 comment:

Stephanie Black said...

Well said, Anna! It all comes down to the writing. All the other perks can be fun and exciting, but why do we keep doing this? Because we love to write.