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CommunityWhen you think of people like Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Cherise Sinclair, Carolyn Falkner, Stephen King, John Steinbeck and Edgar Allen Poe, you can’t help but be impressed by their success as authors. They and thousands of other prolific and adept writers have made the transition from attempting to achieving despite the difficulties along the way.

Everyone likes being part of the “in-crowd.” Writers are no different. We want to be picked for the team. Yes, Steven Saylor is respectworthy but we have something phenomenal in common: we both went through the publishing maelstrom. We’re suddenly on the same team. (He’s NHL and I’m Pee Wee league, but it’s all hockey.)

According to Bowker, in 2009, about 288,000 books were published in the U.S. Even if a large percentage of those books were multiples from the same author, that’s a lot of writers! We are a big community of diverse interests, but our mutual respect is compelling.

To top it off, authors are respected not only by each other, but by society at large. Even when it seems like everyone and their brother says he can write the Great American Novel, or could write a book about such-and-such if she only had the time, most people know inside that authoring a book is a big undertaking that not everyone can accomplish. An awful lot of people who start a book never finish it (that might be the majority of people who want to write a novel). People who’ve tried as well as people who love to read have great respect for the authors who make it. This kind of respect is not something to be taken lightly. It feels good.

Writing and getting published (including self-publishing) makes you part of a big fraternity/sorority, and like any set of siblings, sometimes it’s contentious. But we’re all in the family, and it’s warm and comfortable to be among the people we admire.

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