Maybe this is a writer thing. You write the words, they go out there and sometimes someone answers, but most of the time, not. Most of the time there’s this vast silence.
Or, maybe people who become writers are people who feel like they’re talking to an empty room already and writing the words down is a way to at least make them visible, if not heard.
It’s a funny thing, because the reader doesn’t experience this. The reader feels like they’ve participated in this whole conversation with the writer. You’ve whispered in their ear, they listened and thought about it, ordered their responses and perhaps revisited what you wrote in their minds over the course of the day. This is the part the writer never gets to hear.
And, of course, we all seem to be this chemically unstable combination of insecurity and raging egomania. Perhaps it’s one of those things like running for President of the US, where only egomaniacs stand a chance of surviving the process. But, for writers, our marching melody seems necessarily threaded through with this minor harmony of doubt. I don’t know — maybe the President feels that, too, but doesn’t dare show fear to the lurking wolves.
This morning, two nice things happened. A wonderful friend, who happens to be a Nebula Award-winning author and who offered to read my book to see if she could help expedite it past the slush piles, sent me a note on FaceBook, saying: “Wow! I was hooked on Obsidian by page one. You write really well.”
And an email came from one of my oldest friends, saying: “I managed to get caught up on all of your blog entries that I didn’t get to while I was convalescing. They were full of lovely writing, touching sentiments, and pretty images.”
Those two things? They’re enough to make that empty room suddenly full of people.