Years ago, one of my friends and I read a book by Carolyn See about living the writer’s life. This was back when I read those kinds of books like they were candy. I read them the way my former roommate, who was a psychiatrist, read self-help books.
See encourages writers to write little literary notes, whether they are a note to a journal or an author. She wants you to do it weekly. It struck my friend and me as a good idea in moderation, but otherwise it was pretty stalkerish and/or irritating.
I recently read a memoir written by a woman whose novels I have enjoyed. I realized I had a question about how she portrayed a difficult family situation that paralleled mine just a bit. Readers, I wrote her a little literary note. I sent her a respectful email. There was praise. There was some truth-telling about my situation. There was acknowledgment that if she were to respond, it would be a huge favor to me.
And, today, she wrote back. It was a fascinating, truth-telling, rich description of how she dealt with writing about that particular facet of her memoir. Published writers remember what it was like to be hungry. We are all fighting the same fight.
Have you ever written a famous writer?