Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Importance of Community

Susan Henderson’s debut novel, UP FROM THE BLUE, will be published by HarperCollins on September 21st, 2010. (That's today, folks!) She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award and grants from The Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and The Lojo Foundation. Her work has — twice — been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Publications include Zoetrope, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, South Dakota Review, The MacGuffin, Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies (nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 2004), North Atlantic Review, The Green Hills Literary Lantern, Opium, Other Voices, Amazon Shorts (nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 2006), The World Trade Center Memorial, The Future Dictionary of America (McSweeney’s Books, 2004), The Best American Non-Required Reading (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), Not Quite What I Was Planning (HarperPerennial, 2008), and Online Writing: The Best of the First Ten Years (Snowvigate Press, 2011). She blogs at http://www.facebook.com/l/4d2ddMA7h54NYvNQgJwG82ddkNg;LitPark.com, and The Nervous Breakdown. Her husband is a costume designer, filmmaker, and tenured drama professor. They live in NY with their two boys.

Buy Her Novel On Amazon: -http://www.facebook.com/l/4d2dd8BpF9iNgTBe3WijCXSZyKQ;www.amazon.com/Up-Blue-Novel-Susan-Henderson/dp/0061984035

The Importance of Community
by Susan Henderson

Today is the launch of my debut novel. It’s been a long journey—about six years since I decided I had a novel in me, and twenty years since I graduated with a degree in Creative Writing and a collection of awards that made me think this road might be easy.

To my non-writer friends, these numbers are utterly ridiculous. In any other field, numbers like these send a very clear message: You don’t have what it takes. You must not have anything important to say. What you call your “career,” others call “unemployed.”

This is why a community of writers is so invaluable. Because there’s nothing logical about this field. We are trying to tell our stories even when it hurts to write them, even when the rejection is devastating, even though we are paid nothing along the way, even when we can’t be sure our stories will ever be accepted for publication. We’re in this for reasons we may not even understand.

In my six years of trying to write, revise and sell this novel, I’ve had so many reasons to give up, and it’s you guys, my fellow writers, who’ve carried me here. So let me say thank you for the company. For believing I had something to say. For encouraging me to send out my manuscript. For helping me shake off the rejection. For standing by as my revisions began to unravel the story. For believing I could get it right. For telling me hard truths and beautiful lies. For pushing me to take risks and create bolder art. Thank you for being glad for me even as you are still waiting for your own validation in this field.

I have a book coming out this week because of you, and I’m profoundly grateful.

1 comment:

Siobhan Fallon said...

Yippee, Susan!
The writer's community, and looser virtual writer's community, is so wonderful, especially with women like Rebecca bringing us all together.
Best with your novel and all future writing, I can't wait to read...
Siobhan Fallon

"These are the days when Birds come back/a very few/a Bird or two/to take a backward look."

"These are the days when Birds come back/a very few/a Bird or two/to take a backward look."