We’ve all heard the stories: writers are solitary creatures –unfriendly, friendless, and friendproof.
That may be true . . . sometimes. Certainly there have been times I felt that way, when I was writing, but . . . and this is a big BUT . . . that changes when you’re an author. An author is a writer who has been published.
Once a writer’s work is out there, he or she is no longer solitary. He has friends. And he has enemies. And the friends and enemies are far outnumbered by the people who are entirely indifferent to who the author is and what the author writes. They could care less. But here’s the point: the author is no longer solitary, even if he or she is rubbing shoulders with a mass of humanity who do not know or even care about his existence.
For the author cares. He or she cares a lot. The author’s role is to find friends. Well, readers. Who will become friends.
Writing may be solitary. Authoring is a gregarious activity.
On January 20th and 21st, I and a group of authors offered readings and book signings to a Thunder Bay audience. We performed at the Chapters Indigo store on Friday evening, and at the Coles Book Store on Saturday mid-day.
We laughed, we listened, we spoke, we smiled, we read, we signed, we chatted, we chortled, we just generally had a darn good time. We sold our books and we sold one another’s books. We opened a great many eyes to the great things we local authors are doing, and we made a few more readers. Which is to say, friends.
A great many customersto both book stores remained entirely indifferent to our presence or to our promotions. That’s fair game.
Serendipitously, we got a clip on the local television channel on Saturday night, and our photo in the local daily on Sunday. No doubt that opened a few eyes of those who had been indifferent to us – they had ignored a newsworthy event.
Here’s a link to the TBT clip:
Now we go back to writing. In solitude. For a while. Until we put on our author hats again, and reach out . . . way, way out . . . and touch a new friend.