To those who clap: a shout out

So, I was thinking about being a creative type today, and how creative types need support, and how that support comes in strange and interesting forms, sometimes. And, I got to thinking about my music school days.

Back in music school, a lovely thing happened. You see, music students perform a lot. There are masterclasses, and workshops, and recitals of every type, and festivals, and competitions, and full-on staged performances. That’s a lot of being on stage and hoping against hope that someone will be in the audience watching, because it’s pretty dismal if you’re performing and there ain’t nobody there to listen. At my music school (and I think this is pretty standard for most music programs), we’d try to go to each other’s performances, and there was something so wonderful knowing that when you walked on stage, even if no one else came, some of your fellow students would be there to cheer you on and applaud. I tried to go as much as I could (I mean, it’s impossible to get to everything), and I think my classmates appreciated that and reciprocated. And sure, sometimes the music being performed wasn’t always my taste, and some performances were stellar and some were still works-in-progress, but we went. Because it was the body in the seat, clapping, that was important. I know I appreciated it– tons — and VCM peeps, in case I never said it, thanks so much.

And you know, I think the writing community is a lot like that. There’s a lot of support out there, and I really, really appreciate those who take a moment out of their busy days to tweet me a “go you!” or a “yay!” or even just post a smiley to a FB status update. Because goodness knows there are so many days when the going’s bleak, ya know? Writing’s not easy, and it’s harder still when there are so many ways a writer can get knocked down – a rejection, a bad review, a tough critique, a harsh comment.

And then, someone offers up virtual cupcakes, or a smile or some kick-ass support and witty banter, and the day improves and I do my weeble-wobble thing (weebles wobble but they don’t fall down!) and I’m back up again. Cuz, on rough days, it’s nice to know someone out there is thinking good thoughts for me. It helps. It really does.

So, this is a shout out to my writerly friends, some of whom I’ve never met in person but can’t imagine walking this writerly road without, and many of whom I have met and share tea with and laugh with and appreciate so much. This is shout out to the bloggers who do so much good work getting the word out about our books. This is a shout out to the agents and editors who work so tirelessly on our books, helping us shape our stories into magical creations, and on educating writers in general. This is a general shout out to anyone who supports a creative type in any form…families and kids and sisters and husbands and nieces and nephews…

Have I missed anyone? Ah yes…

Last but not least, a shout out to people who love books and buy books and read books, because that’s the literary equivalent of being the body in the seat, clapping.

Thanks, everyone. Means a ton.

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5 thoughts on “To those who clap: a shout out

  1. What a wonderful post, Cat! It is important to acknowledge the audience, because without them, we’d be creating for no reason. (Well, maybe to shut up those incessant voices in our heads…)

    And I just want to say to you, one of my most-valued cheerleaders: YAY! YAY! YAY! for you!!

    Hugs and love.

    1. 🙂 And you’ve always been such a great support to me too. These days, I know I’m not getting to comment on FB and blog posts as much as I’d like, but always read and always cheer! (And, also, pre-order, because that’s the best kind of clapping, haha!)

  2. Fantastic post! I can’t imagine doing this writerly thing without all the awesome support I have. And like Rose, I say, YAY FOR YOU!! You’ve talked me off ledges, encouraged me, challenged me, and always, always supported me. You’ve no idea how much I appreciate you (or… maybe you do ;)).

    1. I don’t know where I’d be without YOU! Our tea dates have been such a godsend – I always look forward to them, and feel energized after.

      And I’m so glad I’ve been helpful. This is a pretty rocky path we walk, and I’m glad I could kick a few of those rocks out of the way – and thank you for doing the same for me! 🙂

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