A few years ago, I can’t remember how many, I wrote a blog about visiting my daughter’s high school in east Texas, where I was the guest of their creative writing club. Seven girls and one boy grilled me about the harsh reality of being a freelance author. Finally, one of them asked me, “How did you get to be so awesome?”
Well, something similar happened Friday. I was wrapping up my Convergent Journalism class and heard a commotion outside the door of the Mac Lab. I peeked out and saw about 40 elementary students out there. When I came out the doors a few minutes later, the young teacher held up his hand and said to his students in a loud voice: “Can I have your attention please? Right there (pointing at me) is the author of If Tomorrow Comes.” The 40 kids as one voice said “YAAAAY!!” I then went over to talk to them. Apparently the teacher reads my book from 2000 every year to his sixth graders. This year they decided to make a field trip to meet the “famous author.”
I knew going in, that being an author didn’t guarantee fame and fortune, but it does have its perks. There’s nothing quite like having someone stand up for a presentation and quote you in something you said a few years before (it happened to me in Seattle!) or stopping you on the sidewalk to tell you that a book you wrote inspired them (happens occasionally to me pretty much everywhere). Money is fleeting, and so is fame. But there is nothing quite as nice as knowing you have touched someone’s life.
I can’t claim credit for it. The ideas are given to me from somewhere or Someone else. But it’s sure nice when I know I am not wasting my time.
One thought on “Getting Paid”
This is so true. I haven’t even been half as successful as you have at writing and yet there is no way to describe the joy I got the day I heard my little brother and little cousin running around pretending that they were characters in one of my books or the day that one of my brother’s friends asked me for an autograph. I think that the greatest reward of being a writer is not the money or the fame but the joy of knowing that others enjoy your work. Thank you for this reminder!
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