It’s been said that writing is a solitary vocation, and while that’s true in terms of sitting at the desk doing the actual writing, it is far from the truth in terms of community. As I’ve made my way down this merry path of writing, I have repeatedly been surprised by the kindness of the writers I’ve met.

Today, I sat with my friend Sherrie in our favorite restaurant, talking about writing. Sherrie is a very talented writer, and as we conversed, it occurred to me that three years ago, I never would have believed I’d be where I am today. Three years ago, I was struggling with my first novel, plugging along with no real idea what I was doing or how I was going to do it. I did an awful lot of talking about writing, but very little actual writing. Most of all, I didn’t know a single person who shared my interest in writing. Today, it occurred to me that now, almost everyone I know is a writer. So much so that at times, I feel over-saturated by the topic.

But I don’t take it for granted. I’m very lucky to know so many other writers who have helped me along the way by giving me their time, advice, and friendship. This reality was fully cemented for me when, a few weeks ago, I was offered my first contract on a book. I had so many uncertainties and was so overwhelmed by the whole thing, I hardly believed it was real. Somehow, at that exact time, I made the acquaintance of Tamara Thorne. Tamara Thorne is a horror novelist~ and not just any horror novelist, but one of the novelists whose books I used to read which inspired me to be a writer in the first place. Not only was I meeting one of my heroes, but I was getting to know her. She was very kind to me and told me a lot of things that made the whole thing easier.

This is how it’s been all along for me. So many writers have come into my life at just the right times, clearing the path for me and easing my mind, making it impossible for me to overlook the almost “cosmic” synchronicity of it all. In a world that is supposedly dog-eat-dog, I am fortunate to say that somehow, I haven’t dealt with any of the nastiness and competitiveness everyone said was “out there” waiting for me.

While it may be true that writing is a solitary activity, it’s also true that no one writes a book all by themselves. I’m lucky to know many great writers who also happen to be good people. I have to conclude that most established writers remember what it’s like to begin in this business, that they remember how tough it is, and because of that, they take a particular kindness to the beginners. This is something I did not expect~ and it’s become one of the predominant things I love about this business.

  1. Gabby Streck says:

    This is a wonderful article Jared. I am sure that your kindness and appreciation of those who have influenced you and shared with you willingly will not go unnoticed.

  2. Thanks for reading, Gabby!

  3. Kim Justesen says:

    It’s important to remember that we cannot pay back those who’ve helped us along the way, but we can pay it forward. I’ve tried to abide by this philosophy for the past 15 years, and for the most part, I have never been sorry. The few sour grapes I’ve encountered are nothing compared to the wonderful students I’ve had the pleasure of working with and the amazing friends I’ve made as a result of following this edict.

    • Thanks, Kim! It’s been good times!!

    • That’s always been my philosophy, too, and it works. We are only in competition with ourselves. A helping hand or a lead costs you nothing and may even reap rewards, though I would never expect anything in return. (Honestly, doing things with expectations takes the joy out of them and sours the act a bit.) The witchy homily, ” The bread thrown on the water comes back threefold,” in my experience, is very accurate. It’s all about balance.

      • Thanks for stopping by, Tamara! (See, I told you all she was great!) lol. And thanks for your friendship and kindness. You eased my mind about many things and I’m grateful. Write on, my friend… write on.

  4. Dayle says:

    You’ve come a long way from the days when you used to call your mother-in-law to ask for word meanings and if they worked correctly in poems or sentences.

    • Ha ha!! Thanks… my mother-in-law is awesome! And sometimes, I’m still not sure about my word usage. I still think subterfuge is pronounced “sutter-fudge.” I don’t care what anyone says…

  5. Linda L. Bennett says:


  6. Linda L. Bennett says:

    I am so lucky to know such a wonderful person, even tho I never met you in person.

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