Every summer Romance Writers Of America holds its annual conference.This year the location had to be moved last minute when torrential rains and the rising river flooded Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland hotel. Orlando’s Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort provided a beautiful alternate venue for the July 27-31st event.
Wednesday evening authors and readers gathered in the enormous hotel ballroom. I signed my latest print release novel, Soul In His Eyes, at the “Literacy for Life” multi-author event.
Nora Roberts and me
Five hundred authors from around the globe gathered donating the proceeds of book sales to organizations that promote literacy. Over sixty thousand dollars was raised in the span of the two-hour event.
Nora Roberts gave the keynote, admonishing those that bemoan the difficulties of the publishing world today. She reminded listeners that although the internet and computers have eliminated the author’s use of carbon paper, typewriter and ‘whiteout’, snail mail submission given way to instant email; it is still difficult to become published. It has never, nor ever will be easy.
“Hard is what makes it special,” Nora said.
If you have never poured your heart into a creative work Nora’s comment may at first seem odd. In a society where everything instant and faster is prized, it might seem counterintuitive to think to work, to agonize over a book that requires an averge of six to twelve months of struggle to birth, could actually be sought after. Perhaps the malady that afflicts we authors should be listed in the DSM-V as authorittis psychosis. In what other aspired profession is there so much preparation, learning curve, long lonely hours and rejection? Ah..the bitter pill of being told time after time you are not good enough. All this with no remuneration. Months turn into years even after the “call” has been received. Perhaps one to two years longer post-contract before ‘your baby’ is released. And then months more before royalties are realized.
“Hard makes it special.” Indeed.
Most authors have a day job. We fit our writing between errands, while waiting in line, or after the kids are in bed. It is a hunger, a drive to create something from nothing; words to inspire, uplift, educate and entertain. Sometimes they are read by only a few. Some will stay forever in the drawer under the bed, relics of that learning curve and our love.
But it is those few precious moments of which every author dreams. That unexpected email from a reader writing from somewhere across the world. Those simple words of gratitude.
“You touched me.”
“You changed my world.”
“Your story made me laugh/cry…feel.”
What a treasure. What joy. This double edged sword -- the gift of words. Reader to author is a symbiotic relationship that feeds the souls on both sides of the pen.
There is no greater joy than creating a world eyes unkown can see and dream. Thank heavens we are crazy. Crazy hope, crazy dreams, crazy love.
Hard makes it special.
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