Friday, July 1, 2011

The Writer's Curse

The curse of most writers (and certainly all writers when they first start practicing their craft) is that they write without knowing how their work is received.  Once a story or poem or even a blog post goes out into the world, it has its own life separate from the person who wrote it.  This is much like what happens when a child leaves home to make his or her way in the world.

For me, this is very true because I almost never get feedback so I never know if my writing is achieving the effect I am seeking.  This is very unfortunate because more than anything else, I crave that feedback.  If you've read the early posts in this blog, you'll know that I believe writing is for sharing.  It is only when the words are read and have an effect that the circuit is complete and the mission accomplished.  The effect might not be the one I want -- the reader may hate my work -- but any effect means I'm done.  If I'm lucky, the reader likes my story and if I'm really lucky I get feedback.  And that is the moment I want, not frame or riches or anything else; I just want to connect to my readers and share my ideas.

And I'm not looking for validation either.  If someone doesn't like my story, fine; that's their opinion.  But if the reader does enjoy it, so much the better.  Then I've happy because I am trying to entertain with my stories so I want people to enjoy them.

I say all this because I discovered two mentions on Twitter the other day.  One person liked the blog which made me quite happy to hear.  I don't think this person is subscribed to my blog directly, I think he picks it up through the automatic Twitter repost I set up, which reinenforces my point.  The blog is out there and anyone can find it and read it and enjoy it.  The lesson for me is to check Twitter more often.

The other mention was someone checking out my novel.  I wish I had seen that back in Decemeber when the tweet was posted.  But again the book is having a life separate from mine, so no harm done.

In both cases I tweeted back to these folks expressing thanks and my hope that they enjoyed the work.  In both cases I got no reply back (not that I was expecting one).

And so life continues.  Work on Book 2 progresses.  I wait patiently for word about the revised novel from the publisher.  And I look for feedback on my work, hoping to hear something.  The silence is definitely deafening.

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