--Drawing Over--My mom warned me never to write about writing. She says it's self indulgent to the author and boring for the rest of us. Leave it to Lammot and King. And I will leave it to them; after this post it will be all theirs.
|all these letters came from you|
At least it did that.
1. I am going to have another job apart from writing. That job will not be 'a thing I do on the side while I nurture my writing career'. Life does not seem to allow for such wishy-washy-ness. My other job will be a world within itself. I'll train for it, be overworked and exhausted by it, rewarded for it and wholly involved with it. That is not failure; in fact I hope to be so lucky.
2. I am going to make money through writing. I have made money on this blog and I earned that. But I will not support myself or my family on it. To think that would be delusional. Delusion leads to disappointment and bitterness and other such creatures to be avoided.
3. This blog will not morph neatly into a book deal. Some blogs turn into books but most do not. If I think that it will, I will never have a book published.
Now, here is where Nico and the plate of meatballs enters the stage. There I was, being treated to this night of endless appetizers (say it out loud: endless. appetizers) and laughing so hard that tears slid down my cheeks, and yet my brain was telling me that once again I'd failed at Making Writing Work.
How funny, brain, because I only know Nico because I write and so does she.
At that moment, I started to think in a funny new way. By Sunday it was snowing in Fayetteville and I made it out just in time. I arrived home very late and the first thing I did was open the box full of letters I've received from readers. I carefully read them one at a time. Then I had to go to bed. The next day I read through the rest.
I received most of these letters while I was working on the boat and having a hard time. The letters are full of encouragement. It turns out they're still just as encouraging, years later and on dry land.
donated to this blog, I remember your name, and I've sent you a letter. (And by the way! If you donate and did not get a letter, let me know! It happened to one person, she was overseas, and the letter got lost. I wrote her another one. Please do let me know.)
What did you picture your life would be when you were younger? I imagined that "life" was a big clean room with a fine desk made from a single polished piece of wood. (That desk does exist by the way, but it ended up in the wrong house! Kerry, please send me your dining room table when you get a chance, I'm pretty sure I dreamed it first.) From that desk I would type out book after book, hand them off to my agent, and then lots of money would arrive in my mailbox. My salt was artesian, my children healthy and quiet, and my dog's fur never fell out by the fistful for no apparent reason.
I have a great life but it doesn't look like that. And thank God because how boring does that sound.
I did not know that I'd connect with people all over the place who would take the time to read my posts, write me letters, leave comments, and send me books they thought I'd like. I had no idea the economy would nose-dive the moment I graduated college and despite that, people would donate their own money to support a very lengthy 'book' I was constantly writing on the internet.
I am not failing at writing because I have found you.
That's what the Make More Mail initiative is about. I love sending letters and things through the mail. Connecting with you is joy. I have some give-aways lined up, some ideas of more excuses to send out letters and photos, and something called Mystery Prize Monday.
It will happen on Mondays. Not every Monday. There will be a little post and a prompt to leave a comment. One of the commenters, chosen at random, will get a mystery prize in the mail. The mystery prize will be small, fun, maybe delicious, could be a book, it's possible you could wear it, not unlikely you could play with it, but there is one rule: if you don't like or can't use your Mystery Prize, you have to send it along to someone who might better suit it.
You cannot chuck your Mystery Prize.
You can share your mystery prize with the world and with the internet if you want. But I won't. From my end, it will be our secret.
Today is the inaugural Mystery Prize Monday and here is the prompt.
This holiday time, I'm hoping to buy all my presents from small, independent businesses. Dig, Holdfast and Melody come to mind. Who else is out there? Do you have a favorite small business, artist, or maker? Is it you, your friend or someone you just found and fell in love with? Do you donate to a certain charity instead of giving presents, or do you make your own with the help of some ninja-level-midnight-difficult craft site? Leave us the link in the comment section.
You can just leave the link, or you can tell us a little about it as well. I will compiled the links on The Wilder Coast's Pinterest Page, on the board "Local, Small, We Want it All!" (Please don't feel bad for me because I have no followers, because I just started it. If you want to feel bad for me that my urinary system is allergic to alcohol, you may.)
The recipient of the Mystery Prize will be announced on Wednesday.
Thanks. I love you. Now go to town.
keep up with the make more mail initiative on Instagram @melinadream