fawning librarian

I penned a post about resolutions. Then it went no further. January and resolutions go together like beans and cornbread. Rather than bore you with that whole mess of resolution-minded blah-de-blahs, just check out IttyBiz’s post about goal-setting and be done with me and I’ll be done with the resolutionary post.

On to fawning. There are few folks I’d ever fawn over. Perhaps an occasional actor or two, but my tastes are distinctly academic and so those whom I find fawn-worthy are writers, authors, essayists, memoirists. The content creators.

At the beginning of January I finished reading several books. Several were good. Inspiring. And so I decided to write the authors to thank them for their words, their words, their efforts. Two or three responded, and that was a delight. Then there are those who have not.

In the midst of my writing to authors whose work I admired, I encountered someone with a like mind. Or finger, perhaps.  Cinthia Ritchie wrote about “paying it forward,” or, letting writers know how much we like their work. She shares how she always wanted to write a letter to the author of her favorite book, but never did.

I did it once, about 20 years ago. Scared me to death when the author wrote back. I shoved her letter into my desk and pulled it out to read it a few times, but never responded. It was rude of me, no doubt, but who ever expected an author to write back? It wasn’t a novel. It was non-fiction. I can’t recall the title but it was something like 101 things feminists can do to change the world.

My preconceptions, and my actions, or lack thereof,  stemmed from my adventures in writing fan letters to my favorite actors. This was in the early 1980s, mind you. I wrote a letter to Molly Ringwald and one to Brooke Shields, two of my favorite–at the time–actors. Never heard from Molly. But I received a standardized postcard back from Brooke, thus cementing her in my good graces for the rest of our lives.

What prevented me from writing to actors, or authors, for that matter, was that they seemed so inaccessible. I lacked information-finding skills as a teen and should have known to talk to a librarian about getting in touch with a writer. I didn’t. It seems I found information about writing fan letters to Ringwald and Shields via a fan magazine or some such business.

Things are different now. Writers have websites. Those websites say “Contact me.” In theory, they want to communicate with their readers. But, I wonder. I mean, there were those 2 or 3 writers from whom I have heard nada.

Are they shy? Do they lack time? I wonder. Why have a “contact me” section to your page if you really don’t want to talk to your readers, or have time to talk to your readers?

Write your favorite authors. Tell them how much you enjoy their work as a professional, and on a personal level, too. It’s tough being a writer. I hope that the ones you choose to write do respond.

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