It’s The Little Things

Writing is a lonely business. I say that quite a bit. Mostly because it’s true. Writers are solitary creatures, often insulated against interacting with other people by the very nature of what we do. Writing takes time. It also takes quiet and, for most writers, a measure of solitude. So when writers get together, either online or in person, it’s a pretty big deal for all of us. We have human interaction (after a fashion) with others who understand this strange life we lead. We discuss things that don’t make much sense. We agonize over things that seem trivial. We also get feedback on our work, and exchange tips on how to do it more effectively.

In a recent post, I talked about the concepts of Scene and Sequel. I got a lot of great feedback on that post. But perhaps the feedback that meant the most came from my friend — and my daughter’s favorite author — Hana Haatainen Caye who regularly writes for iStorybooks (among other things.)

Hana has many irons in the fire at any given moment. She has a very successful blog The Green Grandma, in which she talks about living a more natural, organic life without chemicals. Her book Vinegar Fridays came from a regular feature on her blog about the many uses of vinegar in and around the home. Even now, Hana’s working on getting it ready for release as an e-book! She’s one of the busiest and most prolific writers I know.

Imagine my surprise when she messaged me about how much my post on scene and sequel had helped her improve her writing. After implementing it in her own work in progress with great success, Hana took the concept to her writer’s group. They dissected their own stories that night according to the key points of scene and sequel, and their assignment is to incorporate both into their stories over the next month.

It’s always meaningful to me to hear how the little things I write — whether it’s a blog post, a book review or a novel — have a positive impact on someone’s life. For a moment, that solitary life I lead seems a little less lonely. I’m touched that Hana took the time to tell me how she used what I’d written.

For a writer sitting in the dim light, huddled around the cold glow of a backlit computer screen, with only the whirring of the fan to break the silence, the comments, emails, and reviews are the only applause we get.  Sometimes, it’s the only way we know that we are not alone, and that what we do matters to someone other than ourselves. For those who take the time to tell us, we are eternally grateful.

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