Dear Author: Thank you.
Okay. You’re getting better at this.
You’ve learned how to write even when you can hear your inner critic (you write, anyway).
You write with consistency. You have a practice.
You know how to dissolve the forcefield that tries to keep you from your desk.
There are seasons and phases where you show up to write every day.
Good! This takes energy and time. You’re mastering your craft with deliberate practice, and it shows.
How do you stay inspired?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a special book (or two) with you. These books are like friends you bring on a road trip: they make the whole journey way more fun and exciting.
What is the book that helps you write the one you're writing? You know, that one by the author you love.
Maybe it will be a comp in your future query letter. Maybe it will be a secret influence. Maybe you’re writing a response to it, in your own voice.
For whatever reason, it motivates you. It lights you up, reliably.
Every time you read those sentences, you feel the desire to write your own sentences.
What is that book, for you?
When I tell people to write their favourite author a thank you card, they seem surprised at first.
Why not? You’re a writer, they’re a writer. You work in the same field, and you probably read the same books.
If you’re genuinely grateful, you can send a genuine thank you.
Three reasons to send authors thank you cards:
1. Writing is solitary work. The effort does not disappear after one has published. In fact, it can be more challenging to write after one has had some critical success. Reaching out to a writer is a form of care.
2. Most writers don’t get bags of fan mail the way other celebrities do. It’s highly probable that your letter (and your words of gratitude) will reach the author directly.
3. It’s just an elegant thing to do. I always send a thank you note when someone gives me an important gift. Especially when the gift has changed my life!
When you decide to do this, remember: it’s just a thank you card!
That means you’re writing in response to a gift that you have been given. It doesn’t mean you expect a response of any kind. The note should be short. I like to use flat cards for thank yous, so I’m not tempted to ramble. Simply writing “Thank you for writing [book title]” will do!
You can send your card care of the author’s agent or publisher, anywhere in the world.
Send it in the post, and choose a pretty stamp. Make it real.
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