Friday 22 July 2016

Dear Writer Friends - an open letter

Hand writing So Many Things in To Do List with red marker isolated on white.

This post was prompted from the recent NewCon birthday bash - I queued and got a book signed - but felt guilty that I didn't get other books and also get them signed. Even from people I'd consider friends, and would love to support...

Dear Writer Friends,

I'd like to support you by buying your books. By reading each and every one of them. By recommending them to others from a position of knowledge. By pressing them on friends and family and other readers as presents. I would blurb them if I was more famous (or even slightly famous). I would mention them in interviews as 'books that have influenced my writing'. Or in answer to the oft-asked question - 'what are you reading right now? What do you think we should be reading?'.

I would write long reviews on all the right websites and blogs, and in all the right magazines and papers. I would do all of this and more, if I could.

I'm sure you'd do the same for me, right? This whole book business works best if we support each other. But I'm sure that, like me, there are reasons you can't. We both know that we have our book to write, we have a commission for a short story that has a pressing deadline, we have a blog post to write to promote our own work.

That we need to watch TV as a method of procrastinating and that procrastination is very much part of our process.That we need to read books on how to write books (my personal addiction). That we need to read books about interesting subjects we may write a sentence about in our next work. That we need to read books by writers we admire greatly and wish to emulate, who are mostly dead.

We both need to prepare for interviews; or do interviews. Prepare for a panel, prepare for an article. That we are mid short story, or novellette, novella or novel. That the very thing we could use to help each other is in short supply. Our words and the time to use them.

It's very much not that we don't want to.

Today I could have helped a writer friend. Today I wrote a blog post about not having time to help writer friends .

I know you'll understand as you'll have read this knowing that you could have written the exact same letter to me.

Maybe next time you are selling a book I'll buy it and ask you to sign it.

Maybe next time...

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