Good evening, everyone.
I wasn’t planning on writing another post today, not after my earlier update, but I received an email while I was unloading from a grocery run… that… well… I simply could not allow to disappear into the aether that is my ‘contact’ email box.
Before we get into this, I cannot help but proclaim my disclaimer. I’m going to be very honest in the lines below, and I fully expect that I will tick off a few (or possibly more than a few) people with these thoughts and reactions.
Thou hast been warned…
So… a chap I’ve never heard of before today–let’s call him Jackson–sent the following message regarding The Fall of Skullkeep to ‘email@example.com:’
Really really disappointed I’m still waiting for this. In fact I’ve given up and will no longer be reading your books. Seriously if I got this behind in my work I’d be sacked
I am incredibly honest in what I choose to share here and via my newsletter, so I will share that my knee-jerk reaction was to get pissed off. But the more I thought about it, I realized that wasn’t my true response (like most of my knee-jerk reactions).
Jackson is operating under the mistaken conclusion that I write for him… or any of my readers.
I write for me.
I always have. I always will.
I am extremely grateful that enough people enjoy my stories that I’m able to write them full-time. I love that people enjoy reading my stories as much as I enjoyed writing them.
But that doesn’t change who I write for. Not one single bit.
And as long as I’m typing, I’ll clear up the other misconception Jackson is suffering under. My writing is not ‘work.’ I don’t wake up each weekday, thinking “Aw, shit… I’ve gotta go write,” and I never have. I enjoy writing and developing my stories.
Publishing is work. And to be very clear, writing and publishing are not the same things. Not at all.
Publishing is a pain in my [insert preferred noun here], but I happily do it, because I now know there are people out there who enjoy my stories as much as I do.
Which (like I wrote above) is freaking awesome (and thank you).
If you’ve made it this far, I have a favor to ask.
If you’re ever following a writer who isn’t writing as fast as you’d like and you want to send them an email telling them that they’re not writing fast enough for you and that you’re not going to read their stories anymore…
Don’t send it to whatever writer that is. Please.
Send it to me.
The simple fact is that none of us ever truly know what is going on in another person’s life, and there’s no way to know if a one-line email that reads like a pissed-off venting session will be the one thing that pushes someone past the point he or she can handle.
I would rather you send these types of messages to me, because I know–beyond any doubt–who I write for, and they won’t hurt my feelings. They won’t keep me from writing more stories. They won’t be that one brick too many that makes me sit down in despair and consider actions no person should ever consider.
You never know what kind of day a person is having, and I for one would rather share kindness and smiles and laughter.