I’m sad to report that Summer’s just about over. Soon the kids will be back in school, agents and editors are gearing up for a busy fall, the weather will gradually start turning cold (or hot! Hello, Southern Hemisphere!), and we will soon be learning about the exploits of bizarre people on reality television shows of questionable quality. I’m always a bit sad to see summer go.
So on this-here blog I thought we could have a week of appreciation for a very special and important person: the writer. (And yes, this may mean you.)
Nearly everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life has thought at one time or another about writing a book. There is a widespread belief that everyone has a book in them, that if we could quit our jobs and set aside enough time under a shade tree with a pen and paper we too could be the next Ernest Hemingway. Or at least the next J.K. Rowling. How hard could it be, right???
As anyone who has actually tried to write a book knows: it’s hard. Really really hard.
And as the recent blog reader survey shows, most of you have written at least one novel and just about everyone has tried, meaning you have done something that millions out there haven’t: you went for it.
You made the leap of faith, put pen to paper, devoted hours and hours and hours to building a world, and after months of hard work and sweat and blood and tears, those of you that finished had something to be rightly proud of: a manuscript.
Then you find out that the writing was the easy part.
It’s sometimes a thankless pursuit with uncertain odds, so this week: let’s hear it for the writers out there, published and unpublished. We’ll have a series of posts in appreciation of writers, those people who give us hours of entertainment, unsurpassed knowledge, and untold insight.
Hug a writer!
Oh wow, this is way cool. 🙂 Yeah writers!!
Hugs are always good. Especially if it comes with an agency or publishing contract.
In my "Origin Series," a fantasy romance book, I managed to outline three books in the series, and am writing book one, "The Rose Door." It is very hard because my own artistic mind would like it and then later chastise me for even thinking it's comparable to J.K. Rowling or Tolkein. Then, I would like it again. It's a vicious circle. And it's hard locking myself in my little office with the sun shining outside, the house a mess, and "Criminal Minds" calling me to the television. Still, it's worth writing because I enjoy writing. I am happy to be plugging through the dreaded middle of a novel and knowing I CAN do this.
Robert McGuire says
I attended the start-of-year party of an MFA program this weekend, and looking around at all the new students, I thought they seemed so vulnerable. They looked like they could use a hug. I'm going to suggest my teacher friends make it part of the workshops.
We writers sweat blood over the keyboard, grabbing words from nowhere, and hoping to bring our readers on an unknown adventure.
Marilyn Peake says
Wow, thank you, Nathan. I'm dog-tired today, and sad to see summer go. I am, however, looking forward to going back to work on the final revisions of my latest novel next week, and appreciate the very positive words of your post today. Here’s to all the writers out there! And here’s to Nathan for adding a bit of sunshine to the world of writers!
Suzanne Young says
Okay, now I need a T-shirt that says "hug a writer". Although… it could make my day sort of awkward with all of the random embraces
Precision Grace says
Since I've just started writing my first (bad) novel I shall go ahead and hug myself.
Bane of Anubis says
Ah, Summer, you duel edged tempest… The sun doth shineth, but it also baketh those of us w/o AC… Of course, the gloom of perpetual cloud cover awaits us here in the beautiful PNW… but, hey, at least I won't have to water the clematis anymore.
I'm a bit more hands off, so I'll settle on a wink and a nod for my fellow AITs (authors in training who happen to live on their own little islands).
And I second Marilyn's shout out for your efforts to contribute to our general wellbeing.
Hilary Wagner ~ Writer says
What a sweet post! Virtual hugs to you, NB. I can only imagine the struggles you've gone through to become an agent, just as we have to be writers. The publishing world in any form is a tough road to travel. I have total respect for writers, agents, editors and everyone in between.
xoxo — Hilary
I for one am glad to see the summer come to an end. This is not (just) because I am in San Antonio, which has enjoyed 58 days of 100+ degree heat this summer, but because it means my two darling children are off to school. And that means I can get back to the full-time job of being a writer! (Not the part-time, sneak-it-in-when-they're-not-looking job of being a writer and a parent.) Thanks for the post and the encouragement, Nathan!
Ryan Potter says
I just hugged myself.
Max Thesky says
I tried to hug cormac McCarthy. He spit in my face. God I love him!
Nathan … this is why you rock!!!
Mercy Loomis says
Great timing Nathan! I'm re-writing my synopsis today and I could sure use a hug. 😉
Although having my first two short stories published in one week is sort of a hug on its own…
Keep writing, people!
Awesome! Yay Writer Appreciation Week!
Mmm… Thanks. That felt good!
Thank you, Nathan, for writing all your helpful posts. You are a writer in every sense of the word! I can only speak for myself, but you have taught me a lot with your own writing!
Devon ellington says
I choose to take your week very personally, in the best possible way, as someone who makes a living writing and, for all the ups and downs, wouldn't want any other life.
Thanks for the acknowledgement.
Other Lisa says
I'm not much of a hugger (to quote MAD MEN, "my people are Nordic") – how about "Buy a writer a beer!" week?
Dan Holloway says
Nathan. what a wonderful idea. It would be amzing if you used this week to raise soe of the serious issues around publishing and social exclusion. There are vast sectors of society who aren't able to reach teh same critical audience as the published mainstream not because of lack of talent or even lack of the means to get a story out there, but because of the institutional and structural barriers to them (query letters favour those whose lives mean it's possible for them to find out and practice how to write queries, for example – neither use nor ornament for someone in the shanties of Sao Paolo). At the moment the literary world doesn't celebrate all writers equally. Responses to my recent blog on the subject (https://agnieszkasshoes.blogspot.com/2009/08/from-pitch-to-perpetuationof-privilege.html) show many don't even understand there's a problem. You're in a wonderful position to change people's perspective.
Rick Daley says
A little bit of encouragement can go a long way. This is a neat idea.
Brandi Guthrie says
Yay for writers! The most thankless, difficult, undervalued job in the world.
Note the question: So, what do you do?
Answer: I write.
Reply: No, really. What do you do?
Yay! *gives herself a hug*
Thanks, Nathan! The sun is shining, my fridge is empty, my hair is dirty, and words are only coming out of me in awkward, little hiccups. Today the air hug is much appreciated!
Steph Damore says
Hey NikoleHahn – I know what you mean. I used to have a love hate relationship with my writing too. But the longer you write, the better it gets, and those little negative voices become quieter and quieter.
ryan field says
Nice idea and I'm looking forward to the posts.
Steph Damore says
Oooh – wait, I'm with Other Lisa. Skip the hug, send a beer instead!
Laura Bruno says
Hugs to everyone and thanks to Nathan!
Thanks Nathan – and hugs to all you writers out there!
I'm okay with the end of Summer as Fall is my favorite season. Bring on the football and slightly chilled air.
Ahhh that's so sweet!!!
Genella deGrey says
Aw, Nathan. Aren't you sweet.
Hooray for the pubbed and the pre-pubbed! We're a crazy lot, but we love deeply.
Laura Martone says
I second Marilyn's words…
Wow, thank you, Nathan. Wow, thank you, Nathan. I'm dog-tired today, and sad to see summer go. I am, however, looking forward to going back to work on the final revisions of my latest novel next week, and appreciate the very positive words of your post today. Here’s to all the writers out there! And here’s to Nathan for adding a bit of sunshine to the world of writers!
I couldn't have said it better myself! Thanks, Marilyn!
Oh, and as with Precision Grace (what a great blogger name!), I have to hug myself… seeing as how I'm the only writer in the room at the moment. Unless you count my kitty – I bet she has a mean novel inside her, too! She always seems to be scheming about something…
Avalon Myst says
Yes, Cheers to every writer! A celebration to the creativity within men and women, boys and girls. Rousing applause to everyone who dared to daydream and say "what if?" when others considered it a waste of time. Writers were exploring new lands and even other worlds, leaving culture and science to follow in their wake. Writers are creative pioneers! Every writer is continuing in this honorable undertaking and keeping alive the heritage.
Autumn Rose says
Amen. This comes at a good time for, I think, a lot of people.
My hug is a commiserating one. I don't want to write, but I have to write struggle erase rearrange delete rewrite. I would not have chosen this.
I was meant to be an athlete. Somebody made a mistake. I want my money back!
Thank you so much. And thank you to the other authors out there as well; I'm not just a writer I'm a reader, so I appreciate the amazing selection out there (and things that would be great to see published) written by all different kinds of writers.
Well, when I first saw this post, I thought to myself, wow. Just how popular does Nathan want to be?
I decided pretty popular.
Then I thought, but wait. This doesn't apply to me. I don't write, remember? But then I remembered that my neon grean jealousy of Other Lisa motivated me to push past my relentless writer's block, and write this weekend. And sure, it was only 15 minutes before I caved, but still, it means that this post does apply to me! Yay!
So, since it applies to me, I thought, awwww, this is heartwarming. Nathan is trying to acknowledge the writer in a way that the industry doesn't. What a sweetheart.
And then I thought, right. The industry doesn't. And then I got really, really mad that every day isn't writer's appreciation day in the publishing industry.
And then I wrote this post.
I hope everyone appreciates that I wrote this.
Anyway, I think where I'm ending up is that you're a sweetheart, Nathan. Thanks.
Laura Martone says
I'm with OtherLisa and Steph D. While I love hugs – and did, in fact, just hug myself (no, for real!) – I'd like a beer, too. Sam Adams' Cherry Wheat is a good choice for the summer-fall transition.
And while I'm sad to see summer go ('cause it means I'll soon be leaving the peace and quiet of northern Michigan for the craziness of the New Orleans French Quarter), I'm with Kristi. Fall is my favorite season, too – colorful leaves, crisp breezes, beloved TV shows, and Halloween! Who could ask for more?
Oh, and congrats, Mercy Loomis, for having two short stories published! That's so thrilling!
J.J. Bennett says
What an amazing week this has started out to be. I just can't believe how with a little effort and creativeness things could be going so well. In deed I am blessed to know many of you through blogging and reading your books. I had a fellow blogger write about me today…and I received a blogging award to boot! It’s only Monday…Who knows what the rest of the year will bring? Thanks to everyone out in the abyss who made this one small soul feel important.
Matilda McCloud says
Thanks! Cyber-hugs to one and all!
My summer goal was to at least get all the story out. It's not revised, not perfect, not even close, but at least I have an ending.
Unpublished writers are most likely working two jobs: one that pays the bills and one that feeds the soul. It's a challenge to fit it all in!
I'm looking forward to this week!
Katy Cooper says
Almost all of my friends are writers, so I have a tendency to take this gig for granted, and to fail to appreciate my achievements (finishing books). Thank you for reminding me not to.
You know, my previous post sounded somewhat cynical about your motives, Nathan, and that was really not intended. I'm feeling playful today, and I'm joking around.
I think your intention here was truly admirable. I appreciate it very, very much.
I don't want that to get lost.
sex scenes at starbucks says
Beer all around, and THEN hugs.
We writers are kind of introverts, until someone starts pulling the taps. 🙂
Thanks for the nice comments. It's been a rotten day and I needed to hear something like that.
Hugs, beers, I'll take any kind of recognition you want to throw my way!
Thanks for creating a week to celebrate us, Nathan. What's next? Agent Appreciation Week?
Jess Haines says
Nathan, this was wonderful. Thank you so much!