Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Operation Encourage an Author

Let me see a show of hands... how many of you as readers think that authors are untouchable heavenly beings that simply crank out novels with hardly any effort and they somehow magically float down to earth to entertain use with perfect prose and stunning characters. Now I don't think any of us have that exact picture of authors, but many of use think that somehow because you have the ability to put words on paper you are extra special and untouchable.

Here is the biggest misconception about authors, they effortlessly write the novel you hold in your hands. Writing drains so much from an author. Have you ever stared at a computer screen filled with words, trying to manipulate them to where they say exactly what you want them to say? Then have you ever heard back from an editor telling you that you need to go fix that exact phrase you thought was golden?

Writing is not an easy profession, but authors do it because they love it. They do it because it is their passion in life, the drive to share their story with the world.

As readers we love to read, but often our favorite authors don't know they are apprecaited and often they get more negative reviews than positive.

I recently read A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman. It moved me so deeply, that I just had to tell her. I wroter her email and she wrote back telling me how encouraging I was, how wonderful it was to hear it had moved me on such an intimate level.

I recently won Swinging on a Star by Janice Thompson and she sent me the book directly, so I had her address. I try to make it a point to write a hand written note to authors that I have their direct home address. I got an email from Janice later, telling me how my card came on the exact day she needed. Only God could have orchestrated such an event, but He used my card from the love I had for her book to encourage her.

Deborah Raney gave me permission to post part of an email I had with her recently after I read her book Beneath a Southern Sky and loved it.

"Casey, I got your sweet, encouraging note today. I am thrilled that you were so touched by Beneath a Southern Sky. Your words were a real encouragement to me today as I head down the homestretch with the book I'm working on (due on my editor's desk Feb. 8). Thank you, thank you for taking the time to write. That gave me enough writer's fuel to go for a LONG time! : )"

I have written to many "distant" authors over the past couple years and every single one has written back, because while this profession is their passion, it is often a very lonely business spent in a world amongst imaginary characters and to know that their work has impacted a reader's life gives them the encouragement they need to keep writing. Why write if you don't think anyone enjoys your work?

I challenge you, what is the book you are reading right now? After finishing it, if it was a good book and you enjoyed it, plunk yourself down in your chair before the computer. Don't use the excuse that you can't find their address, authors always have websites and every website has a "contact me" button. Spend five minutes writing your favorite author. I guarentee you, that your note will encourage that author and give them "fuel" to keep going.

Note to my readers today: if this is something that impacted you, let me know, I am debating starting another blog with the exact purpose to connect readers and authors with encouraging words.

Operation Encourage an Author Today!


  1. Hi Casey,

    This article encouraged me thinking of how I could encourage authors and writers! Thank you for such a positive message. Your new blog idea sounds great, although I'm wondering if you'll be able to make contact often -- but I guess it doesn't hurt to try :-) Good luck with your own writing!

  2. Good idea! The world we live in can be so brutal, what a difference we can make by taking the effort to let someone know how they blessed us. I like this.


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