Today I got a request from a total stranger to help him out with a surprise for the love of his life and one of my loyal readers. I can’t tell you what an honor it is to meet up with book people. I didn’t even have to be published for this to occur. The best part of writing is the people you’ll meet.
I met some of my best friends when I was learning to write — when — gasp — the internet was barely a thing. Now most of them are bestselling authors, but we went through all the rejections together and that forges a bond that is so strong. Only another writer can understand the sheer joy of getting a manuscript accepted and the utter despair when working on something for years only to hear, “No.” And often, not a very nice “no.” Some of them really stung. But we always had each other and we felt each others’ pain.
We’ve had huge highs like Denise Hunter having three Hallmark movies made. We’ve had really horrible times like the loss of many we loved. One of them like a sister to us. (Diann Hunt) To this day, I write with our group picture on my desk. It reminds me of our bond and of all we went through together — and that it’s not over. We will reunite in heaven. My point is, there is no better way to go through life than with your people. The people who understand who you are — with all your talents — and your faults. It’s what makes anything you do matter.
Diann Hunt, Kristin Billerbeck, Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter — eventually we added Hannah Alexander to our group too!
Every time I want to give up writing because there’s too much going on and I have nothing left to give the page, something happens that defies explanation. Someone will call me out of the blue and want me to ghostwrite a book. Or someone will write me a letter out of the blue telling me how one of my books changed their lives. That is so incredibly humbling and I know without a doubt, it is 100% God and He gives me a little nudge when I get whiny.
A few years ago, I had readers meet up here in San Francisco. Two of them were all the way from Australia and then, there was a family from Wisconsin. They had all met and befriended each other on my personal blog. This week, one of them is returning to San Francisco and I’ll get to hang out with her and catch up on life in Oz. Before I met her, she met up with another reader in Australia and they held my picture between them and sent it to me.
The thing is, I’m really honored to have been a writer. It’s the best job in the world. There are ups and there are downs, but one thing is constant — book lovers — whether writers or readers — share a bond that connects us in the most magical way.
Kris, I love that picture of you girls. And I miss Diann. But we aren’t finished yet, Who knows? The best may be yet to come. Let’s keep on writing!