You know that delicious feeling of curling up to a book, smelling it, grabbing a blanket and a warm cup of tea and drifting away into the book’s words? You owe that feeling to an author. If you ever wanted to celebrate an author, November 1st is the day. National Author’s Day is recognized by book readers across the country as a day to celebrate your favorite writer’s hard work.
In the journey of diving into a book, we rarely take a pause to acknowledge all the hard work put into it. Tears, late nights, self-doubt, and endless rewrites are all parts of what it takes to become an author. And that is only the literal tip of the book stack iceberg.
I say that because I am an author. During the pandemic, while many learned to bake bread, a skill I acquired many years ago, thankfully, I had the opportunity to spend time developing my love for writing and published two books. Writing for me is like time traveling. I get to explore worlds that I’ve made up in my head, or revisit places from my past. I get to bring pieces of those worlds into life. I have had days of sitting with my laptop for hours in front of my window. Some days floated by and my cup of coffee would get colder by the minute as I typed away. Other days, I’ve written one powerful sentence and then stepped away from my laptop for weeks.
To a writer, the whole world is a menu of creativity. I strongly believe we are all storytellers, especially book lovers. We seek stories untold in every turn of a page. I seek inspiration from many of my ever-growing list of favorite authors. I didn’t always call myself a writer. I think growing up I focused so much into society’s standards of what I was supposed to be, and author was not on their list. It wasn’t until I sat front row at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts in Denver on a cold, snowy November night. Holding two very special books in my hands, I listened to the authors. I watched as they read their stories and how the twinkle of every word seemed to light up their life. I felt like the only person in the room when the acclaimed Julia Alvarez and Kali Fajardo-Anstine, a fellow Denverite and author of award-winning Sabrina & Corina, chatted about their writers’ journey. Julia took my breath away when she said, “once you become a reader, you realize there’s only one story you haven’t read: the one only you can tell.” I realized the courage I needed to write my story was right there, in those words. So, the next day I began to write my book. I put it away for a few months and as the pandemic took away many things from us as well as my excuse for time, I found the time to sit and finish my memoir.
Now, my books have made it on bestsellers lists, and from conversations with many readers, they have changed lives. It certainly changed my life to write both books. I imagine many of the authors being celebrated have felt the same.
Celebrate authors by purchasing books from your local bookstores. My favorites are West Side Books and Tattered Cover. Write reviews, recommend to your friends and loved ones. We have stacks of books around our home of stories to be told. What world will you dive into today? Which author will you celebrate?