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Fan Mail

The Rich Writer: Fan Mail

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fan Mail

Some of my fellow writers--writers in my critique group--receive fan mail. And I'm a wee bit jealous.

It's not that I want to be famous and have crowds of adoring fans. In fact, I was confused by my yearning for a "fan letter" because I'm not really the type to want fans. I mean, I go to an abbey for fun, one devoted to the practice of silence--and I'm not even Catholic! I'm recharged by silence and solitude and wide open skies and a lack of traffic noise. So what's up with me?

I think I've figured it out. It has to do with why I write for kids. It's certainly not for the money, although money's nice. It's not for wild fame, because, frankly, I'll probably be unhappy if I ever am wildly famous. It's because I want to share something with the kids of the world. I want the lonely ones to hear that loneliness has an end; I want the happy ones to have their joy redoubled; I want the ones who don't really like to read to get bowled over by an exciting story. I want to kindle a child's enthusiasm somewhere, so they'll start asking questions about their world. I want to touch people, make a difference. It's a weird compulsion, I guess, but it makes me happy.

So why the fan letter desire? I guess because I like hearing that people actually do read the stories and articles I write, and that they enjoyed them.

Luckily, I know enough kids who read Highlights and Cricket and Spider that I can fish for feedback :). And I'll let my critique group members deal with their crowds of adoring fans!


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