What is the most important thing in life for a writer?
Paying the bills is nice, having the chance to do more writing is vital, but probably, above all, you want people to ‘get it’. Whatever the ‘it’ is that you are doing, it is important that people – the listeners, the viewers, the readers – someone somewhere, ‘gets it’.
You can sometimes read a review and think to yourself: ‘did they actually see my show?’ or ‘did they watch my film?’ – but most especially ‘did they actually read my book?’
You know the one I laboured long and hard at writing that they seemed to have missed completely in favour of a book with the same name as mine, obviously by a completely different author, who just happens to have the same name as me too? People not ‘getting it’ is depressing, it brings you down, it make you think you’ve GULP failed.
Especially lately, judging by the reviews, a lot of people (86%) have been ‘getting’ ‘Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf’. What’s more they’ve been ‘getting it’ without necessarily being a fan of the hardboiled detective books it tips its fedora hat at, or the fantasy universe in which it is set. That is great. That is what we live for, And to have that sort of general appeal is really, really important for a ‘genre’ writer. So thanks to all of you lovely people out there that ‘got it’.
Sorry to those few that didn’t.