The Top Reasons Writers Write

Cake from Book Group

Last night, I was a guest at a book group, a fun group of eleven women, who read my latest book, Fractured Not Broken. They treated me like a STAR. Here’s the cake they had made to welcome me. Notice the pineapples–these are symbolic in the book. The cake had two yummy different flavors–part lemon, part chocolate. My faves! (How did Rita know?)

South Bend Book Group

L- R back row Rita, Mary Jo, Me, Val, Dorothy, Barb and Dianne

Front row L-R Joyce, Sherry, Kate and Judy

Rita, who organized the event, brought me chocolates, and Sherry, my new best friend from Macy’s, brought me a coffee mug and 25% off coupons. (Notice the missing chocolates below.) How did they know that my favorite writing snacks are coffee and chocolate? Maybe that’s cliche, because all writers like both, but hey, I’m all about cliches then!

Gifts from South Bend Book Group

I didn’t know any of these women before this event, but when I left I felt like I had 11 new BFF’s. They opened their hearts to me and Kelly’s amazing story.

How did we meet?

One day when I was in South Bend visiting the Apple store, I stopped in at Macy’s to buy a comforter. I overheard the sales lady (Sherry) talking to another customer. She mentioned she was an IU graduate and sports lover. When I heard this, I asked her if she remembered a basketball player in 1999, a guy who’s in Kelly’s book, and she did! I mentioned that I’d written a book about a part of his story and she seemed interested, but I never thought anything more about it.

Six months later, a friend of hers (Rita) sent me an email. “Our book group is reading your book. Will you come as our guest?”

I couldn’t wait! (I rarely get out of my writing den!)

Sitting with eleven women I’d never met before who knew Kelly’s family intimately because they read the book, was surreal. They had great questions and prompted quality discussions.

They shared how Kelly’s story moved them and inspired them, how they were in awe of Brenda’s strength, and how they found hope and faith in the world. We laughed. Some said they cried when they read the book. They shared stories of their own, and we talked about other great books.

THIS is why I write–to go to book groups and drink wine, eat cake, receive gifts and feel famous. For a minute.

Not really, but it was an added bonus!

I write to entertain, inspire, bring thought to social issues, meet readers who care, and make new friends.

How to shrink a big head:

When I left the gathering, I could barely walk my head was so large and heavy from all their praise, but when I got home and opened my email, I found a letter than shrunk my head in a nano second.

The email was a critique from my editor on one of my works-in-progress, a YA novel. Reality sunk fast and hard. I had a lot more work to do before the book was ready to publish. Yep, life is like that. Reality can knock the sense right back into you.

I was reminded that I’m a flawed person like everyone else–no better, no worse, no more talented or gifted than the next person. I need to keep writing because there are important stories to tell, but I still have a lot to learn. If I’m going to improve my writing the only cure is to: 1) Take two bites of humble pie, and 2) Keep writing. 

My hubby, companion, cheerleader and chauffeur 

THANK you hubby for driving me to this event. THANK YOU South Bend ladies. I hope to see you again! You were a class act.

What do you love best about your writing journey?

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  1. Yep, editors have a way of bringing us back to earth! But, you know I haven’t met an editorial comment that I didn’t eventually agree with. Congrats on all your successess!!

    • Thanks, Pat. What would we do without editors? I’m with you–totally agree with their comments–just wish I could see them with 20/20 vision while I’m writing. Ha! Congrats on all your successes, too. Sure wish you lived closer.

  2. Dan says:

    What a great experience Michelle, thanks for sharing that story. Kinda reminds me of Sales…. What have you done for me lately? One might get a nice size order one day and receive 20 no’s the next.

    • Thanks, Dan. Yes, I’m sure you know all about the high’s and low’s in your job, but the fact that we get to do something we enjoy is a bonus, even if there’s no one there to cheer for us. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Say HI to Terry.

  3. What a wonderful, touching way for the book group to show their support of you! We all get the ‘reality’ checks, but the ‘uppers’ are definitely encouraged!
    I get my ‘uppers’ when the WWII vets I’ve interviewed send me a note of thanks or I see them again and they’re glad to see me too and they’re proud of the story I’ve written about them.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Kayleen!

      Did you go to the author fair last weekend? I wanted to go just to meet you! Did you have a lot of traffic? Thanks for stopping by. I would think the rewards of the WWII vets sending me notes would keep me going, too. Everyone likes to feel needed and special. Stay well.

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