However, this "break" does give me a chance to muse on things a bit. One such thought is on the state of this whole writing thing. While I've known for years that I love to write and that one day I'd (maybe) give the whole thing an actual go for real, I never considered how interacting with other writers would be. As a professional with well over a decade of both corporate and self-employed business experience, I had originally assumed it would be a lot like any other business: i.e. HULK SMASH COMPETITION!!
After all, if I sell air conditioners and you sell air conditioners then if I somehow manage to convince the customer that my air conditioners are better than yours (since yours are no doubt powered by the souls of all those dead puppies you keep buried in your backyard), then it's your loss. I win / you lose, ha ha and vice versa.
What a breath of fresh air it was to discover the same is not true in the writing world. Via twitter and email I've rubbed shoulders with a good many other writers, some who sell less than me and some who sell books in numbers higher than I can count to. The wonderful thing I've discovered: most of them are really cool. Maybe it's just that crazy knows crazy (writers and nuttiness go together like Kool Aid and Jonestown). Or it might be because this is one of the few businesses where competition is not a black and white thing. As a reader I can understand this. I don't pick up author A's book and discard author B's book into the trash pile, never to view it. I read one book and then move onto the next in the list, rinse and repeat. Thus who cares who gets read first as long as you're somewhere on that person's to-read list. It's like a line at an amusement park. Sure it might be long, but there's room for all of us on it. I takes the cutting out of the cutthroat aspect of the business.
In my 'other' life, I've hobnobbed with the competition at various conventions and meet and greets. No matter how friendly it gets, there's always that (insert bad Austrian accent) "I MUST DESTROY YOU!" undertone to things. How refreshing it is to step into another world where that sentiment instead becomes "It's ok if they read you first. They'll get to me eventually."
I like this. I like this very much. In fact I'm eyeing a nice little corner house in this neighborhood. I could see settling down here for a nice long while. It looks like a nice place to raise the kids, have a BBQ, and sit out on the back porch to enjoy the sunset. Oh and should you decide to move in next door I'll be there to welcome you with a friendly handshake and a batch of fresh baked cookies. The wonderful thing being: unlike in my 'other' life, these cookies won't be poisoned.