I had the immense pleasure this past weekend of attending the Celebration of Books event made possible by The Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers. Needless to say, getting to meet Sue Monk Kidd and Michael Cunningham was amazing. Listening to Rita Dove read her poetry was spell-binding, and there were so many more wonderful authors there! Naturally, the inspiration and energy to write ensued after realizing how many of us there really are, published or not.
During one of the breakout sessions, a literary agent from New York, one anyone would be thrilled to have as her agent, shared her soapbox. Sure, the publishing industry right now is experiencing the pains of change. Of course the economy is tough. But if you’re a writer, stick to your craft. Keep writing. And the best thing you can do?
Don’t expect a bookstore to work with you and carry your written and published work if you’ve never set foot in their store as a paying customer. Don’t expect monetary compensation for your work if you’ve never put your money where your passion is.
This hit home with me, as we have the reins pulled tight on the family budget. The library is our best resource. Then I realized, however, that we at least buy a book a month. And we certainly contribute financially to the library with our late fees. I bought one book at the event and brought two others with me. What I truly realized is that I don’t buy all the books I want to. I want to buy lots of books, support as many authors as I can, be surrounded by shelves of stories, adventures and knowledge (preferably in alphabetical order by genre, thank you).
I’m not doing too badly, I assure myself. Moderation is key. A book a month is better than nothing. Amazon might be our new library. If we don’t buy directly from the publisher or our local bookstore, Amazon is our next best thing. I do think, however, that the next step is making good friends with the local bookstore. I do love that place.
I confess. I am a writer, and I *heart* books!