Writing is basically a solitary activity. It only involves others when you choose to release your writing via traditional avenues (books, articles in newspapers and magazines, newsletters, zines), or via electronic means (blogs, websites, online forums).
Once released to the public, unless you are read by the masses in the NY Times, or have a blog that's nationally known, you don't get alot of feedback. I'm very fortunate that I have some devoted readers and some of them post regularly. I am grateful for these people.
With the pending pre-release of When Towns Had Teams, I got a particularly nice response from a reader who has been reading my articles at MainelyKids.com and has come over to the blog(s). She apparently saw my post regarding the book and had this to offer:
"I've watched your writing mature for some time now. I first read your articles at MainelyKids and while I had some disagreement with you, you kindly answered my concerns. You were the first writer to ever do that.
I've read most of the articles that you've written and I'm really interested in your book about town team baseball. I'm not a big baseball fan, but I think it will be interesting to read about the period in Maine's history that you seem to be focusing on.
As someone who loves Maine and is concerned about some of the changes I see in my small town, I'm anxious to see what it was about towns in the past that made them special. Maybe I'll learn something I can use in some of my current issues in my town." Roz
These comments mean alot, as this reader (who is an educator) really took issue with some of my points about education in one of my articles for MainelyKids.com. Rather than ignore her points, I emailed her and we had a spirited back-and-forth. While she never entirely came over to my point of view, she respected my points (as I did hers) and apparently, not alot of writers engage those who offer thoughtful critiques of their work.
Just this morning, I opened my email and found that I have received my first official online order (I had my first mailorder, Friday). This is exciting and I'm really getting anxious to get my manuscript to the printer and get my book back to begin shipping.
Despite the craziness of the past couple of months, I'm starting to see momentum begin to build and it's so encouraging.