Thinkin’ on Thursday: Get Over Your (Writer’s) Self

Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB

I’ve met a lot of authors over the last many years. I’ve met some who seemed to feel they were God’s Gift to Creation. I’ve met others who were so humble as to be invisible. You had to probe to find out what they’d written: were they embarrassed by it? Or only shy?

A few were enormously famous, and I was lucky enough to hear them speak, or, often, to get an autographed copy of one of his/her books: Alex Haley, Irving Stone, David McCullough, Lois Lowry. Many were Utah‑born and bred — or had close Utah ties: Dorothy Keddington, Orson Scott Card, David Wolverton/Farland, the Brandons Mull and Sanderson, James Dashner, Carol Lynch Williams . . . the list could go on and on.

Most authors I’ve met have fallen somewhere between the extremes. And an ENORMOUS number of them are happy to give the “newbies” a lift up. I was thinking about this when I ran across a couple of interesting writer quotes.

Some years ago, Barbara Taylor Bradford, romance writer, was honored as the first author to be chosen for a Great Writers of the 20th Century postage‑stamp series.

“REALLY? A ROMANCE writer?”

Don’t scoff: do you have any idea how many books she has written and sold? Anyway, her reaction to the honor, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, was “It’s rather nice to be not dead and have this stamp.”

That’s beyond humble! And beyond “cute,” in my book.

The other writer absolutely personifies, to me, what most writers I’ve met have been: famed science fiction writer and essayist, Ursula K. Le Guin, said: “There are a lot of people who will say I’m the exception, the only good science fiction writer. That’s nonsense. I do seem to be somebody who has carried people from realistic literature to fantasy and back. I’m happy to do that. If I’m a steppingstone, walk on me, for heaven’s sake.” [emphasis added]

And that’s what most of the writers I know have been for me, and for you, and for other Utah writers you may know! We thank you all!

I’ll see you next for Saturday’s Spellbinder!

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