A writer friend from the US (though she’s really an Aussie), Margot Finke , has a page on her site devoted to wahoos. Every month she lists these wahoos, announcing the good news of fellow children’s writers. These wahoos are often celebrating the release of new books, but other times announce contract signings, awards being won and so on. I rarely know the authors listed, and as most of them are American, rarely even get to pick up the books mentioned, but it’s no nice to hear of other people’s successes. So wahoo to Margot for spreading the word about good things and making this writer on the other side of the world feel good.
On various e-lists I am on, fellow authors also regularly share their successes – from the biggie of a big overseas rights contract, to news of good reviews or new editions of books.
So why do we celebrate other writers’ successes? If I don’t know the writer and don’t read their book , does it matter a jot to me that it has been released? Yup! Too right it does. Writing for children is fun, rewarding and challenging but it is also hard work, and often downright demoralising. The reality is that it is hard to get published, hard to get good sales even when you are published and some days I wonder why I keep going, and I know there are many, many others who regularly feel the same way. But when I’m reminded, by Margot’s list, and by writer friends from around the world who share their successes, big and small, that publication does happen, that awards are won and contracts offered, I cheer for those people and I remember that it has happened for me (well the contract and publication bit – I’ve yet to win an award)and will happen again.
Sharing good news is not all about saying ‘look at me – aren’t I clever’ (though that is a valid feeling when you’ve just been offered a book contract). It is also about sharing that buzz of knowing that acceptances do come, that hard work does pay off, and that dreams can come true.
I’ll take the little buzz that other people’s wahoos give me and I’ll keep working. One day I’ll have some buzz of my own to share.