Working in Isolation
Any other freelance writers out there know that this is one line of work where the biggest rewards are simply meeting your deadlines and getting your paychecks. That is to say, you have no office teeming with co-workers to take lunches with, to agonize over tough interview subjects with, or to pound you on the back when you did a great job. There are no annual bonuses or surprise vacation days. The joy is in the doing. Or it had better be, at least. It's one of those things that nobody tells you when you have the nerve to start asking other people who freelance what it's like and how they got into what they're doing. Somedays you're going to be very lonely and distract yourself with internet solitaire and the Ellen show, and then feel horribly guilty later.
This preamble is a longwinded way of getting to a point. Now that my book, Make a Scene, has been available in the world for little over a month, a most remarkable phenomenon has been happening. Reader feedback! People who have read it are emailing me to tell me what they think, and whether or not it has been useful to them--and I am shocked to find out that apparently. . .it makes sense! It helps! That blows my ever-lovin' mind. I don't know why--I wrote the thing in English with a clear outline and the prodding of my tough but fantastic editor. Writer's Digest Books has standards--they don't publish books that don't make sense. But still, a writer always wonders, doubts, secretly believes their words are crap. And trust me, I've already read passages in the published version I would sorely like to change.
But for once this freelance business of playing word-wizard behind the curtains does, in fact, come with a bonus, and at the holidays, no less--validation that I don't actually live in a solipsistic world of my own making, and that yes, damn it, people are out there, reading.