Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In which someone totally random likes your writing.

Starbucks, 10:34 AM, Monday

Person: "Whoa!" *Admires my laptop, then sees the giant crack in the screen* "How do you see anything like that?!"

Me: *Chortling into my poison of choice, a caramel frappucino* "I...sort of position the windows so I can see through the cracks. It works pretty well! This is just my writing laptop, so..."

Person: "Oh, you write? Cool, cool. What kinds of books?"

Me: "I'm not a real author just yet, but...uh...Young Adult books, mostly." (I say this and almost cringe, thinking they'll scoff.)

Person: "Nice! So, like Twilight, or like Looking for Alaska?"

Me: *Struck silent with shock that they know a YA book other than Twilight* "Well, there's fantasy in it, but it's contemporary fantasy set in a suburb..."

Person: "So more like City of Bones? I'm picky about my books, but I liked that one."

Me: *brightens* "Yeah! It's actually been compared to that by the people who read the manuscript! Except my main character is a rude punk who's being chased by the government, and there's aliens."

-Here's where we talk for two hours about books, and I nerd about the details of my book. The Person reads the first chapter on my broken screen while I check my mail surreptiously on my phone-

Person: *Looks up when she's done* Can you send me an email when this comes out or something? Seriously, when you get published email me and tell me it's out so I can buy it, okay?

Me: *feels a little like exploding into a pile of happy goop right there*

Honestly, random affirmations that what you're doing isn't so useless after all are so, so great. The high lasts for hours! I'm still smiling from this, and it happened YESTERDAY. It means a lot to me. Writing means a lot to me! But when someone completely unrelated to you likes your writing, genuinely? That's even better. That's the best. That's all I could ask for.

Keep it up, writer-friends. Whether you're published and wading through that next book, riding the submission-train around, struggling to write the perfect query, or still tenderly caring for the baby seed that is your unfinished WIP, just remember that I like your writing. I send it unending love and encouragement from a million miles away. I, me, this one small person in the sea of many, likes your writing. I love your writing.

Someone once told me success isn't a number, it's a heart.

(It's not a lake, it's an ocean.)

I think I understand now!


  1. Love this! What a feeling when someone just gets it! It makes up for the hours and hours of feeling like an isolated freak. :)

  2. Wow wow wow, so awesome! I get a high from people I know telling me they like my writing.. but from a total stranger? Very cool. Keep it up, and make sure to email them when it ABSOLUTELY DOES get published :_

  3. That's an AWESOME story! Someday that person's going to be like, "I TOTALLY met her in a coffee shop before she was famous..."

    Haha, and still chuckling over the fact that she knew books besides Twilight. I can't tell you how many friends have asked me if there are vampires in my book.

  4. Omg, Michelle! What an awesome, awesome feeling!!!! Wow, and me loves this woman for loving City of Bones! Woot!! And me loves you and I'm so happy for you to have this feeling and validation that you are totally doing something amazing and are very, very talented.

  5. Sarah - EXACTLY. Us wannabe authors and our shut-in freak complexes! You nailed it right on the head!

    Erin - Thanks! ;)

    Karla - Sankyuuu <3

    Cheyanne - Definetly! I also get that high from people who I know, too, but it's so different with people you don't know. I wish I could go around bestowing the feeling to everyone ever. :P Thanks!

    Hayley - Aww, thanks. Us YA writers should have a bumpersticker that reads; HEY I DON'T WRITE VAMPIRES, OKAY?! Or at least a sweater. OR A SHIRT. There. perfect!

    Mel - *hugs* You're wonderful and equally talented!!! (If not moreso ;P) It's definetly a feeling of validation. I wants more of it, precioussssss. <3

  6. that is so cool! Random people can be so awesome sometimes! :)

  7. Amber - Definetly. Sometimes I almost think random people could be the BEST THING EVER. Thanks!