After some extensively deep thought, and serious contemplation over the last five minutes I’ve come to the conclusion that stalkers, or rather the term stalker, has seriously gotten a bum rep.
And I’m not referring to those dinky-Rodeo-Drive-weirdo Bradgelina stalker's; I’m referring to all my SM/Writer/Aspiring Writer/Uber Reader stalker compadres. YES, YOU!
Personally, I think it takes real gumption and guts to put yourself out there as a writer. Especially with so many vultures out there looking for the next thing to sink their poisonous/non-constructive opinions into, making it a pretty scary venture at times. Which is why it seems only natural that there be the opposite force of that. People who can and are willing to encourage and praise you for being the brave person you are, and do something that most people lack the courage to do. To take on the risk of rejection, to lay it all on the line, all while hoping and wondering whether you’ll be accepted for who you are and the work you produce. Totally not an easy thing to do. But the fact is, rejection and criticism are both as much a part of this process as the happier side of it, which is usually what the masses get to see.
But the risks don't simply lay with just the writer, it can also lay with those who simply show their admiration for others, often without knowing whether that admiration will be returned in kind. In most cases a pretty thankless position. “Stalking” is often not a 50/50 give and take situation, more often than not it's just one sided. And so to those of you who support & encourage with no guarantee of a returned gesture...I salute you & thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
As writers it is such a MAJOR thing (especially for me) to receive those encouraging words or that boost of support from someone who simply cares and wants to share in your experience (I really love that). And I love meeting and learning about new authors & aspiring writers, because not only are so many of you just FREAKING AWESOME but for me there’s usually a special kind of connection that is somehow made, a bond, that I believe can often translate into possible friendship. And I love making new friends!
And so I'll confess...I'm being partly selfish when I take an interest when someone I’m stalking or a friend of mine realizes their dream of being published, or finding an agent or signing that first book deal, because it gives me that much more hope to follow through and pursue my own.
So, I will gladly stalk and welcome fellow stalkers, with the hopes of offering (directly or indirectly) as much encouragement to others as most of you have so generously offered to me.
Happy Writing & Happy Reading!