by Savannah J. Foley
I’m a rock star.
You probably know my story already (because I’m always talking about it, *facepalm*), but let’s make it explicitly clear: Let The Words Flow is a blog whose contributors were previous FictionPress writers, and that includes me. I enjoyed a pretty successful life at FP, and retain some of my fans from that time to this day. I’ve received a decent amount of fan mail, and I gotta be honest, anonymous readers are the people who have said the nicest things to me, ever.
Getting fan mail is like it’s your birthday and you got that one present you’ve always, always wanted but never realistically thought you’d get. Your face instantly brightens into a huge grin, you get the urge to squee and jump up and down, and for an instant all your hard work is worth it, for real. Yes, you knew that the hours spent editing and tweaking and brainstorming meant something, but when you get a fan letter it’s like the universe took a moment to show up and say ‘I definitely agree.’ It’s complete and utter validation.
In short, it’s awesome.
I was very, very lucky to have the experience I did, and I know that not a lot of young writers have it. So, if you’ve never gotten a fan letter before, or if you haven’t had one in a couple years, today is your day.
I’m writing a fan letter to you.
I’m a stalker.
I know that LTWF has devoted readers who visit us every day. You guys read, comment thoughtfully, and engage us in discussions and, occasionally, fangirl-like squeeing. We really, really appreciate you guys.
And we stalk you.
Ha, you thought it would be the other way around, didn’t you? We’re the ones posting, we’re in ‘the public eye’ so to say, and so you’d think we’d be out living our fabulous lives, blogging generously, and not really paying much attention to those peons who comment on our articles, right? Or maybe that’s just how I think of everyone who runs a successful blog… Anyway, the truth is that we’re interested in you. We look you up. We visit your blogs, read your work, and, yes, talk about you. Probably me in particular.
I kind of have a reputation behind the scenes… I’m known as the Stalker. Curious about someone? Bam, I can hand over their blog, second blog, Facebook, Twitter, myspace, FP account, etc. Yeah it’s mostly googling and a little basic detective work, but you get the point. I’m curious. I’m a voyeur. I’m a writer.
So, I can safely say that I know you. A little, anyway. I know about your struggles in school, your worries about editing, about never writing again, about being a fraud, your family trouble, your stress about finals, your stress about picking colleges, your stress about finding a job, your worry that being a writer is so hard and takes so long and you’re going to be poor and anonymous and your stupid characters won’t just tell you what they want, etc.
I know. I’ve been there. I know how hard it is to get it done, and how insecure you feel after. I know what it’s like to struggle silently, unable to really talk about your work with family or friends because they just won’t get it. It’s why you hang out here.
Yes, I know you. And I think you deserve a fan letter of your very own. So here it is, an amalgam of my responses to the stuff I’ve seen on your blogs, your Twitters, and your FictionPress account.
You’re a rock star.
I hope you don’t think I’m a total stalker [though I kind of just admitted to you above that I am], but I just wanted to say that I’ve seen you around online, and the other day I happened across your blog where you had a sample chapter of your current novel posted. And I loved it. I couldn’t help writing you to tell you about it.
Seriously, you are SO talented! I kind of had my mouth open in shock that someone so young could have such a powerful grasp on what makes a great story. I was so upset when I got to the end of your sample because I wanted to read MORE right then! I can’t wait until this gets published and I can have a copy of my own.
Honestly, I think I stumbled across your work a few years ago, and I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you have improved so much in the past few years. If you ever think your writing is crap, just remember how far you’ve come, and that you’ll only continue to develop. I could really tell you’ve been working hard at getting better at your craft; it shines through in the realistic way your characters interact, and how strong their voices are. I couldn’t stop thinking about your MC after I was done -I was still thinking about them the next day!
I also saw on your blog that you’re going through some tough times, trying to make some big decisions that might have an effect on your writing life. I don’t know you personally, and of course you’ll make the right choice for you, but I just wanted to say that you should definitely not give up on writing, ever. Even if you have to go to school and work at the same time, it’s clear that your heart is in writing, and I know you’ll find a way to make it work someday. You have to. You’re obviously meant to do this.
Just wanted to let you know that I’m cheering for you, and I’ll be first in line when you get a book deal 🙂
Never give up!
Seriously, if there’s something you’ve been meaning to say to a writer or blogger, professional or not, just say it. If they’re in a slump you will instantly kick them out of it, if they’re having a bad day you will instantly brighten it, and if they’ve been doubting themselves you will instantly cure them. And then they’ll make more of the stuff you like to read. 😛
Savannah J. Foley is the author of the Nameless (originally known as Woman’s World) series on Fictionpress and is signed with the Bradford Literary Agency. Nameless is currently out on submissions. Her website is www.savannahjfoley.com, but she updates more frequently on her livejournal. You can read an excerpt from Nameless here.