Could you have a writer living in your street? What about your neighbourhood?
You'd be surprised at how many writers there are out there but many of us are pretty shy about it. That young fellow up the street that you assume is laying about watching daytime telly when he should be out earning an honest quid, could well be churning out best sellers.
The stay-at-home mum dropping her kids at school might be the writer of children's fiction, or even a juicy bodice-ripper the littlies will never find out about!
You just never know.
But we are there ... although finding one of us might prove more difficult than locating a fairy at the bottom of the garden.
Speaking for myself, the reason is that the business of writing is a very solitary activity; it's not often you get to collaborate with others, so when you're getting down and dirty with your writing, it's easy to become a bit reclusive.
Having said that, we love your support - no more than that, we need your support.
When we emerge from our caves, most of us love to see you and speak with you. I recently wrote a post called Book events - keeping it real (4 July, 2014). I described an event where we had a pretty poor turnout, but the event itself ended up being one of the best I've ever done - and it was all down to the support and the community I have here in Mornington.
Couple of reasons why your support is so valuable:
1. It keeps us writing, so if you like our work and you want more ... say so!
2. It supports those who support us. For example, we have a book shop down here on the Mornington Peninsula called Farrells ... these guys are big supporters of my work and that means a lot to me. When local businesses do well - we all do well!
3. I really believe that people like to give back when they are appreciated. I've had great support from local media, cafes and people - yeah those of you who stop me on the street or message me on Facebook to say how much you love my work will never know how much that gladdens my heart! It makes me want to reciprocate - give back to the community. I have donated my time to various community initiatives over the years - you do what you can to pay back that support.
So what can you do to support your local writer?
Well, first of all, look us up. Ask Dr. Google - he'll know all of us. I've been amazed by how many people say they've googled me and found out all sorts of things about me - things I didn't know about myself!
Go to book shops - if our books aren't on the shelves, don't assume you can't get it. Many bookshops don't have enough space so will keep stock outside. If you can't see the book you're looking for, ask for it.
Say it. If you see me on the street, come and tell me what you think. I love it when people stop me to ask questions. If you're passionate about my characters, imagine how passionate I am - I'm very happy to chat about them.
Attend events. You'll find them advertised at your local library, in local papers and magazines and on the 'net. Come and meet us - we can be quite chatty when we venture away from our computers.
And finally, the best thing you can do to support your local writer is to tell your friends. Hop onto Facebook and tell everyone. Go to Amazon, Goodreads or any of the others and write a review - even when people who don't enjoy my books review my work I appreciate it because it shows they took the time to consider my work. That, in itself, means a lot.
It all helps - and it keeps us writing.
For more information about writers, check out:
The Fellowship of Australian Writers
The Wheeler Centre
These are just a few. Start searching and until next week - happy googling!