Thursday, June 30, 2011
I got a great e-mail yesterday from Dave in Alberta, telling me how much he liked Cinco de Mayo. Just a nice note, out of the blue, to compliment the work. It’s so incredibly rewarding to receive compliments without any strings attached. They’re pure. He liked the book, wanted me to know, end of story. It made me feel great.
Then I felt bad. I never send authors notes about how much I like their stuff. I know how they salve away in the dark, wondering if that last line worked. Too much, too little? Is this making any kind of connection at all? I know what it’s like to wander through a manuscript, a maze you created, and still don’t fully comprehend, unsure of any more, knowing you can’t stand still. When somebody, who wants nothing else from you, says they liked it, the whole struggle is suddenly worth it. It’s a prize. Most times, praise is the only prize. I should be handing out more.
It’s not hard to do, either. Authors have Web site, blogs, Twitter accounts. As of today, I’m going to start sending compliments to writers I’ve enjoyed. Knocking on a door to give someone something. Unsoliciting. I’m starting with Time O’Brian, whose “The Things They Carried” is remarkable. He shouldn’t be too hard to find.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 7:59 AM