Monday, July 11, 2011

Without Readers, We Can't Be Writers

To any writer or author, our readers are very important.  Without readers, we would be writing for an audience of one - ourselves.   Although I enjoy writing and spinning my stories because it's like reading intensified - in a good way - I wouldn't want to just write for myself.   For some writers, those who never seek publication, that's enough and if that works, then I'm glad for those who can do it that way.

I must be a little too much of a prima donna because I want to share my stories with everyone.

Even before I could read, I understood the power of story.   I loved being read to as a small child, to open my horizons to worlds beyond the confines of my home, my neighborhood, my town.   My mother read me stories about Babar the elephant, traditional fairy tales, and Little Golden Books by the dozens.   My father also read to me but sometimes, weary from his long days working at a meat packing plant, he fell asleep as he read to me from Dr. Suess or another children's story.

My Granny, who had my daytime care and feeding from the age of two months until I prepared to go to school, sometimes read to me but she told more stories than read them.   She was a storyteller, a teller of tales and she was a master.   I've written elsewhere - including in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandparents - about her one surviving written work and her statement that she couldn't become a writer but that I should - so I won't tell the entire story again - but my Granny used words well.

Her family tales of her childhood, of her parents, grandparents, and family were my bread and butter.  I loved them more than the Mickey Mouse Club or Underdog cartoons.   From her, I learned a great deal about my heritage, how her Irish grandfather and his father were the sole survivors from their family during the Famine, how her father was impressed into the British Navy and more.

Once I could read, I read with a voracious appetite and I've never stopped.   I began scribbling my own stories when I was still in grade school and even earlier, I made up elaborate play scenarios in my mind.

I know the power that a story can have to engage, involve, and to touch me at every level, to evoke emotions.   I also know that when one of my stories really works, that's how I affect readers.

That makes me both proud and humble.

There is nothing that warms the cockles of my heart than reader feedback.   When I hear from someone who enjoyed one of my stories, I'm delighted.   When I hear back from readers who won a copy of one of my books from a giveaway and they are happy, I am happy.   When I hand a friend and waitress at the local family restaurant a copy of my new romance novel and she hugs me in her excitement, I'm over the moon.

Without readers I would be just another scribbling housewife and so to my readers - thank you and please keep reading!

1 comment:

  1. A lovely post, especially the tribute to your grandmother.


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