Archive for November 17th, 2011


If you’re a writer like me, you probably savor even the smallest compliment anyone gives your writing.

Like a starving beggar being thrown a crust of bread, I pounce on every favorable word, like interesting and intriguing and fun.  I dissect and analyze simple  sentences such as, “I really liked your book,” as in Is he just being polite or does he really, truly like and almost love my book and what’s he gonna tell other people about it and how does he think it compares to other books in the genre and…?

So you can imagine how I felt when I recently got emails from an overseas distant relative and another from an almost stranger/author, and they RAVE about The Compass Master.   As in “Talk about Dan Brown – he’s got nothing on you,” and “It’s so much better written than The Da Vinci Code!” and “I love the main characters, and I just can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Swear to God, my initial pleasure reaction was so bone-deep I was giggling and grinning like a brainless twit.  And of course I tell myself they’re right and it’s not just my imagination or flashes of desperate ego that whisper to me maybe I’m good at this craft.  And of course one reason I’m happily rolling around in these compliments like a goofy dog in the grass is because I know that any day now life will sucker punch me with a cold hard reality check, and I’ll come thudding back down to earth where I’ll go through yet another bout of insecurity and borderline depression.

This is why we writers understand what Mark Twain meant when he said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

EXACTLY!  Who needs food?  Who needs shelter?  I got me some really hot compliments so I’m doing just fine.  Sure, this feeling won’t last.  If we writers know anything it’s the emotional bipolar torture writing can inflict on us.

But for right now, for some of us, today is a good day.