Being Me

I worked at the library yesterday. For those who are new here, yes, I'm a writer and performer, but I'm also a part-time library assistant. A fairly new job for me. One I like very much. What's not to like? I'm surrounded by books and people who love to read. Yesterday someone returned the library's copy of JINXED. My local library owns all of my books. I'm shelved right next to Tom Clancy (cheap thrill for me), only none of my books have been on the shelves for weeks. Checked out multiple times from patrons all over the Atlantic County system and even beyond (you can do this through Inter-library loan). Another thrill for me. Anyway, I happened to be the one to check in JINXED and I was surprised at how worn the copy was. I smiled like an idiot as I noted the bent, crinkled cover and dog-eared pages. This book had been handled and read many, many times. A thrill of monumental proportions. People, lots of people are reading my stories.

A couple of days ago I recieved an email from a reader who had just read JINXED. Please note this book is the first in a trilogy, released in 2004. I've written four others books since then and am currently wrestling with book five, so JINXED is a bit fuzzy in my mind. I know I love the characters and message of the novel, but details? Yep. Fuzzy. This reader noted specific things she liked--character traits, scenes. I was enormously pleased that she adored the story, and jazzed that she'd immediately picked up book two--CHARMED. But her email registered deeper than surface praise. It genuinely bolstered my confidence. The things that she liked most in the book were the things that came naturally for me. Character traits that appeal or strike a chord with me. Scenes that unfolded without thought. Her note confirmed that there are people out there on my quirky wave-length. It prodded me to stop stressing over and second guessing what I'm currently writing. All I need to do is 'be me' and I'll probably be alright. It's a lesson that spills over into everyday life as well. Thank you "Ann" for the reminder.

"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not." ~Author Unknown


Anonymous said…
I love that quote, Beth! In fact, I think I need to tape it up where I can see it every day. :)
Tori Lennox said…
Er, that anonymous was me. For some weird reason Blogger didn't give me the user name/password boxes.
ElsieHogarth said…
Beth, that's a great compliment from a "fan"atic. I'm glad you receive these e-mails to help you stop second guessing yourself. That's why we "fan"atics are out there. We really do dissect your books and that should show you how much we enjoyed it.
Gabriele C. said…
I'm a bit different. I love compliments about things that I find hard to do well. Dialogue fe. is a helluva work for me, it always sounds stilted to my ears, and when someone tells me my dialogue flows naturally, it gives me a kick.

Not that I mind nice remarks about my descriptions, either, but these are easy to do for me.
Beth Ciotta said…
Tori, it is a great quote, isn't it? Need to print it out myself.

Elsie, as it happens that lettr came from someone in your reading group! Great timing as I really needed the boost. I'm flattered that I rated a 'dissection'. :)
Beth Ciotta said…
Gabriele, I see what you're saying. In a way, it's a greater boost to know that someone was bowled over by an aspect of your writing that you consider a challenge. This reader's letter worked that way for me as well. Plot and dialogue come easier to me than character development, but clearly she (the reader) was quite taken with the characters and their inner struggles. So I guess I 'done good'. Another reason to celebrate. :)
Taylor said…
Beth, it has been a while since I've commented. And I'm not just commenting for the sake of commenting but because I've missed commenting here! I'm sorry I just stopped all of a sudden, it was wrong of me. I honestly don't know why I stopped so shortly. I must've had a bad day or something. But since today is such a beautiful day and I actually felt like cleaning and feeling refreshed I thought I'd start anew! Happy to hear your books are getting torn to shreds, it's a good thing! I can't wait to start working together again! This summer I have big plans for books: Since I'll have more free-time I expect to take in alot more books. These said books happen to include your books! Anyway, I'm done ranting. Glad to be back on the boards to blog. Bye Beth!
Cyn said…
Beth, your writing voice is so strong and clear. You could not help be anything but you. Thank God.

Love the quote.
Jennifer Elbaum said…
So glad you got a needed boost Beth. Funny how we sometimes need to be reminded of the same things over and over again (something I definitely need anyway).

Being you = Being great!
Bethany said…
Can I steal Ann? Cause, damn, I need THAT boost of confidence right now. You know, stuck in the "is anything I write even worth it" vein? :sigh:

I'll get out of it, we all do right?
Beth Ciotta said…
Taylor, nice to see you back here. I know you've been swamped with school and drama projects. How's that screenplay coming?

Cyndi... *sniffle* Thanks. :)

Jennifer, I swear, I never knew I was so thickheaded. I need to be reminded of a lot of things. Over and over and over... :)
Beth Ciotta said…
You'll get out of it, Bethany. Just block out the demon named 'Doubt'. Whatever he says, don't listen. Put on some loud Yanni music or something and push forward. You can do it!

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