Why do I want to be a writer, why do I want to publish my books? It’s been a difficult analysis. Is it for the money? Certainly not yet! Is it for the fun of filling my days with marketing–emails, research, signings, social media–all while trying to write actual creative words? Well, yes, most days for sure it’s fun. Is it for the glory, from others and from myself, for the fulfillment of ambition? Yes, of course, that is a big reason for me. But then I received this message from a reader of Camp Follower, from someone who also grew up a military brat, and I experienced an unexpected but much clearer understanding of my purpose as an author:
I don’t know where you want me to add my review, but I have to share this: I have been unable to read more than a paragraph for about 8 years without difficulty. Prior to that I usually read 2-3 books at a time, generally fiction for leisure, manuals for work, and a non-fiction how-to or biography. I thought that part of my life was over forever. When I read this excerpt that you posted, [see post “Petawawa”] I couldn’t believe that I did not encounter my now usual comprehension difficulty. So, with great curiosity about the rest of the story and some trepidation, I purchased your book. This evening after dinner I began reading it fully expecting to still be on page 2 and growing frustrated. Instead, I am on page 102! What a gift this book is. 😊 It is like reading my life story, including Maduradam. I would say more, but I want to get back to the story. – name witheld
I had no idea when I published Camp Follower One Army Brat’s Story that I would actually be contributing something of use to others, something that offered a rich and enjoyable experience, something that would mean as much to someone else as it did to me. I now understand that an inspiring read is a reward in and of itself. And I’m so happy I can contribute to that. Thanks to all readers, and may you continue to enjoy! You’re the best reason for authors, at least to this writer.
2 thoughts on “Reasons I love Writing, #1”
Congratulations! That response was pure gold. I’m reading your book, as well, and like the way you sometimes fictionalize yourself as a character, and sometimes share the story from your point of view. It has the feel of a Brat’s life in a way I haven’t read before. You reminded me that I sometimes disengaged and saw what I was doing from a more distant place, if that makes sense. It wasn’t to escape an unpleasant situation, but more like seeing it as an observer as much as being the one participating. What can I say. Sometimes we Brats are weird. Great book. I’ll review it when I’ve finished reading it.