Praise and Gratitude

Thomas Mann is credited with saying “a writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people,” and I think there’s truth in that. I think that writers are also people who feel compelled to write, whether it’s difficult or not. We are also people who want to share our ideas even though many of us find it terrifying to do so. Writing – and publishing – seems to be like that: full of contradictions and competing impulses.

One of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had as a writer required  me to do the most uncomfortable thing I had to do. I had to ask people whose writing I respected to take a look at my book and decide whether or not they thought it was worth taking the time to endorse. It felt so distasteful to ask for praise. It felt like tapping someone on the shoulder and saying, “Hey, tell me how smart I am.” Asking for praise violates every cultural norm I grew up with: Be humble. Work hard because you care, not because you’re seeking a reward. Don’t let others determine your self-worth.

And yet. And yet it felt unbelievably good when two of the first people I asked not only agreed to take a look, but then wrote lovely endorsements. I could not be more grateful. One of my She Writes Press sisters recently began a series of graphics thanking the writers who endorsed her work and she’s sharing those on social media outlets. I love the idea and am going to do the same.

Here’s a sneak peak.

Thank you HeatherThank you Joan

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