I have recently read a great couple of posts about trouble with writing and the technique used to channel the ideas, not weir off topic and remain focused. Brilliant of course because it was written by a brilliant mind, Andreas Kluth. I went on to read more of his posts and still haven’t finished reading but I had to take some time to write about the topic that has been bothering me, which was mentioned in his posts.
For once I stood and asked myself the question, although still in a process of re-beginning, where do I want to take my writing? What is the direction, the genre, the audience I want to refer to? What is the relation between the author and the reader?
This is another topic I’ve pondered here before. What exactly is the ideal, and the actual, relationship between a writer and his readers?
Young writers like to say (pretend?) that they are “writing for themselves”. Cunningham answers:
I tell them that I understand — that I go home every night, make an elaborate cake and eat it all by myself. By which I mean that cakes, and books, are meant to be presented to others. And further, that books (unlike cakes) are deep, elaborate interactions between writers and readers… I remind them, as well, that no one wants to read their stories. There are a lot of other stories out there, and … we, as readers, are busy. We have large and difficult lives. We have, variously, jobs to do, spouses and children to attend to, errands to run, friends to see; we need to keep up with current events; we have gophers in our gardens; we are taking extension courses in French or wine tasting or art appreciation; we are looking for evidence that our lovers are cheating on us; we are wondering why in the world we agreed to have 40 people over on Saturday night; we are worried about money and global warming; we are TiVo-ing five or six of our favorite TV shows. What the writer is saying, essentially, is this: Make room in all that for this. Stop what you’re doing and read this. It had better be apparent, from the opening line, that we’re offering readers something worth their while.
So I turned to my readers, not many, but enough and thought, do they read what I write. I am not someone who keeps all his works hidden, I’m not only writing for myself or strictly to one person (even that method would probably take out the most intimate detail, thought and feeling in me) I am writing for everyone. As I wrote in my Facebook group description this is a blog about anything and everything.
There I had my answer. A complicated one, and I am not going to thoroughly elaborate on that. I will rather put it shortly for today. Readers don’t have time, they find less and less things appealing to them, less and less things make them take some time off and read. I am at the beginning, a point at which I can’t have it all instantly. I will therefore keep looking for a direction I’m most comfortable with, If something is done well its audience comes by itself with time.