One of the most fascinating things that has happened since I shared the news that my first novel is getting published, is the sheer number of friends, colleagues and acquaintances who have shared with me that they too love writing.
I mean, it makes sense. When I look at the people I’ve connected with over the years, there are a lot of creative and clever beans there. It was highly unlikely that I’d be the only one in my social circles who spent her spare time scribbling in notebooks and making up stories.
I think it’s interesting, though, how many people don’t like to shout about it. I wonder if there’s something about writing in particular. Maybe that a lot of (though by no means all) writers are naturally quieter, more reflective people. Maybe the stats about rejection from publishers makes us want to have something in the bag before we risk sharing that side of our lives.
A side effect of my news is that a number of friends have told me they plan to knuckle down and write more as a result. I don’t know where they land of the spectrum of ‘you inspire me to achieve my dreams’ to ‘if Claire can get published then I definitely should be able to’ but I don’t think that’s the important issue here! (Because I’m pretty sure neither of those are actual motivations.)
So I like to think that there’s a Secret Writers’ Guild out there. You might not know all the members – you might not realise that your best friend is a member – but everyone in this particular club is quietly working away at a beautiful masterpiece, waiting for the right moment to announce their long-held membership and share their words with the world.