The Parody Gods are frowning at me now, but I couldn’t help it. It was the most appropriate quote I could twist to fit this morning’s musings. Ahem, Parody Gods, if you’ll please just skip over the title…and this picture…I’m sure you’ll find the rest of this more to your liking…
I am compelled to write. There’s no getting around that. In times of living, be it stress filled, joy filled, or just plain filled with the mundane minutia that is day-to-day (wow, I’m feeling exceptionally verbose this morning), I inevitably find myself putting words to page. Most of what I write will more than likely never be read. At least until after I’m dead and in the settling of my final affairs at the estate in Tahiti, folks come across the yellowed, faded, journals of my youth. But you know what I’m saying – there’s a ton of my writing that was written strictly for the release of thought. My muse and other personalities with whom I share this physical form, must all have their say other wise they keep me up at night. Well, truth be told, they wake me regardless. I find though that if I write what they’re saying, they shut up faster.
I’m sorry, here’s the point. The writing I produce for public consumption isn’t being consumed by as many people as I would like. I consistently receive the support of friends who will occasionally read what I force upon them with pleas to provide feedback. A few of them even bought my first ever self-published book. Poor publication that it was, and no, I’m not being hyper critical. I sold 50 copies of what amounted to being the proof copy the printer gave me. Yeah, lessons learned big time. It was chock full of formatting errors, a few poorly written sentences, and (gasp)…grammatical glitches. I shudder at the thought. But bless my friends, they didn’t utter a peep. Not to me, and as far as I know, not to anyone else. In other words, there was no ground swelling, word-of-mouth promoted, clamoring for my next book. I now worry that I made such a poor impression with the first book, that my friends are embarrassed to suggest my work to anyone. Every now and again, I worry that the writing itself is what turned them off. If you’re a writer, you know how thoroughly the inner critic can stomp your confidence into dust.
All of this leads me to believe that with my third manuscript, I’ve got to step up on several levels. The finished product has to be as close to print perfection as possible. The story must transport my readers into the fictional reality I’ve written until with some small regret, they read the last sentence and return to the reality of their own lives. I must also find that magic combination of promotional and distribution venues that then places the book within easy reach of everyone on the planet, for surely, this work of art will be of such greatness that my readers will tell their friends to run, post-haste, and purchase a copy of my book – sure to be available in hard back, paperback, and for download to the latest e-reading gadget. Then, once their friends give in to their incessant nagging and read it for themselves, they too will rush forward singing my book’s praises. And thus, my career will take off!
It could happen.
Okay, really. The REAL point I’m trying to make is that I write to be read. Not for fame or fortune, but for the sheer joy I get when someone reads my work and tells me how they feel about it. Not everyone whose read what I put down has liked it. From teachers to strangers, I’ve gotten scathing critiques; folks who told me point-blank, “don’t quit your day job.” I don’t know if it’s because I’m “thick-skinned” or what, but at no point did their ugly comments make me doubt my writing. I can say with great conviction, my writing is the one thing about me that I have undying confidence in. I KNOW I CAN. I was happy that they’d taken the time to read it and voice an opinion. Whether they liked it, understood it, or not, didn’t matter.
Granted, I don’t necessarily want to be inundated with, “your writing sucks.” But by that same token, the response would indicate that what I’d written had been read. And that my friends, is what this is all about. I have an insatiable need to be read. So please, for the love of all that is written, “read me…” – ha, I couldn’t resist. The Parody Gods are frowning again, aren’t they. Ahem…what I meant to ask was, if you read this or any of my entries, please use the comment section the same as you would a guest book. Leave a name, a comment, a suggestion, anything indicating your thoughts about what I’ve written. That way, I will know someone besides me was here. If you leave a link to your website or blog, I’ll get the opportunity to satisfy one of my other insatiable needs, the need to read how others are utilizing this great craft. I’ll be sure to return the favor with a comment of my own.
(And if you find that you enjoyed this, by all means use the links around the blog to connect to even more of my writing 🙂 )