Writers write to connect to people who are affectionately referred to as Readers.
I learned ages ago that if I intend to write for public display then I must remember I am not only writing for myself (that would be a diary) but I am writing for others who have honored me by giving me their time and their attention. This is why writers and bloggers like me gush about our readership with pride and gratitude.
So when I wrote my first book, Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church, I experienced the typical fears that most writers endure : Will anyone read it? Will readers like it? Have I conveyed my message with enough clarity? Will my book catapult me to fame and fortune? (every writer secretly hopes this with every book!)
I have been privileged that yes, folks are reading my book. I’m not exactly sure how many people have read it –in the many hundreds at the very least– but Unladylike is being read. This is gratifying. What is even more gratifying is when a reader takes the time to post a review on Amazon or their blog, or when they email me to tell me how the book has spoke to them. Some readers who live nearby even invite me out to coffee. Like last week. I was so honored to have a young woman invite me to get together after she read my book on a weekend getaway. Besides hearing her thoughts of how Unladylike resonated with her, I also got to know her and some of her story, of how it is she arrived to the place she is right now that my book was a timely read for her. It is a blessing on so many levels when I am afforded this kind of opportunity with a reader. I left my time with her glowing with thankfulness that my book does have a voice. I have a voice, and though I don’t have the Big Publisher advantages, my little book is finding it’s way through the byways and highways of the reading world.
Next week I’ll be Skyping with a book club in California. My first book club ever! I am giddy with excitement to meet not just one Unladylike reader, but a whole gaggle of them! (which reminds me, if you have a book club and would like to set up a phone or Skype talk time about Unladylike, shoot me an email and let’s get it on the calendar).
Readers make my day. They affirm me with their kind attention and encourage me that I am not writing just for myself.
Readers Are Why I Write.
How about you? Have you ever contacted an author? Skyped with a book club? What should writers remember about readers?