Monday, August 30, 2010
In an age where time is just as valuable as money, it is undoubtedly an honour to be writer.
The other day, both my kids went to bed an hour early and my husband was working late. Suddenly, I found myself with spare time that was unallocated to one of the many items on my “To do” list. To be in the wonderful position of having time to myself and the freedom to do whatever I wanted with it, doesn’t happen often. My only quandary at that point was what? Watch a movie? Read a book? Call a friend - have a long newsy uninterrupted chat. When you get a gift of time like this, the last thing you want to do is waste it. Making the right choice is definitely important. In the end, I decided to read for a while and wiled away a good couple of hours in the world my favourite author had created for my entertainment. It was glorious.
It got me thinking about the people who may read my books, people across the other side of the world who I’ve never met, who run around in their busy lives and then choose my novels to read in their valuable free time. Free time, of all the time you have in life, is definitely the most precious. And to have someone choose to give me hours of their time, to read my novel, hours they will never get back to do other things they may enjoy, like go surfing or even spending time with friends and family is an honour that I can’t take lightly.
I believe as a writer, you have a responsibility to your readers, to make sure every book you turn out is your best. Because when Mary Jo is tired, or Kristen Marks is on holiday or Tracey Beaver is on her way to work on a Monday morning, they’re relying on you to take them out of their life and give them a place to escape, unwind, let down their hair. And even though, when I’m writing that same novel, I’m sitting at home all by myself, when the book is published that could translate into hundreds of hours I get to spend with others who want to share in the same journey. In some ways it’s like being a tour guide, and what’s the most important rule of that profession? “Never leave anyone behind.”
I think writing is the same.