IF YOU ARE HIT WITH THE SUDDEN IMPULSE TO CHEER ME UP—BECAUSE, FOR INSTANCE, YOU HAVE INSOMNIA, OR WANT TO FEEL WARM AND FUZZY FOR DOING A GOOD DEED—SEND ME (OR ANY WRITER YOU LIKE) A FAN LETTER
Yes, I freely confess, I love my fan mail—especially when it arrives on one of those days when life doesn’t seem to be working out too well.
Here I don’t mean my writing life which seems to in commendably good form—it appears to have declared near independence and have something close to an existence of its own—but all the rest of the stuff we clutter up our existence with.
What do I mean by that? I mean everything from out-of-control consumerism to the Social Media, from keeping up appearances—to stressing about the traffic.
I would give more examples, but I am conscious that I am in danger of wandering into controversial territory. Do I really think that granny should be left to starve because the writer is obsessed with finishing a chapter.
No, I’m not that bad—and, as it happens I was devoted to my grandmother—but I will admit that I find coping with life outside writing extremely difficult at times. I am a writer not an administrator and find dealing with such matters—the guts of normal life, if you will, stressful in the extreme.
But then another e-mail arrives from a fan, and my sense of wellbeing is restored.
The following was sent by reader Cassie Hill via Facebook—and is utterly charming.
"I saw where you've been writing e-books. Where are they available? Not on Amazon that I've been able to find. Missed your writing muchly."
I would never have the nerve to write: “Missed your writing muchly.” It is not correct English, apart from anything else—but it works perfectly (which is the whole idea of really good writing).
Thank you Cassie. I am deeply touched.
And now you are wondering when my new books will appear on Amazon. Very soon now is the answer – so keep checking this blog. The whole story is a saga—which will appear in my memoirs—but the immediate delay is caused by my having to move. The reasons are all good, but it is proving to be decidedly disruptive.
I’ll get over it. As I have remarked before, given the vicissitudes of life, it is important to appreciate that a writer’s life demands fortitude. But—if you take the long view—it is worth it.
If you take the shorter view, frankly, life can suck.