Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.
I heard an interesting discussion recently between two fairly successful authors. One said he thought a great deal about his audience when writing—and tailored what he wrote to their needs.
The other said he though very little about his readers while he was actually writing. He focused entirely on the story.
I’m in the latter’s story-driven camp. I tend to focus entirely on the story when writing—if only because my fictional world is real to me while I write, and as such, is utterly absorbing. Yes, I know intellectually that my characters are not real when I’m away from the keyboard—(or so I pretend) though they remain a very strong presence.
That said, even though I consciously don’t tailor my stories for my readers while engaged in the process (who knows what my subconscious gets up to) I do think a great deal about my readers at other times, hope they/you will enjoy what I write; and love corresponding with you.
You enrich my life. You give me faith. You sustain me. I now know—and like—more than a few of you personally.
That apart, you may well be a villainous bunch—but I am strongly biased in your favor.
E-mail and blogging apart, it has taken me some time to get comfortable with social media—and it remains a work in progress. Nonetheless, recently I have been making a serious effort to reach out through Linkedin—and have been much moved by the reaction; and agreeably surprised by my own feelings. Because solitude goes with the disciplines of book writing, I have tended to think of myself as fairly self-contained—and not really needing as much human interaction as many—but instead I find myself much engaged by the lives of those I am corresponding with. In fact, all in all, I’m finding it a heart-warming experience.
You would think you would know yourself after nearly 70 years of life—but evidently I’m fonder of my fellow humans than I realized.
I’ll try and keep it a secret.
WHAT MY READERS THINK
Glad to see you back in the “area.” Your books have been fun for myself, sons, daughter, and friends. I hope all
is well or at least settled so you may once again enjoy life and write . . . we who can not write as you do read/live
vicariously through your books.