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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Voices of readers that make my heart leap

Writing is a lonely pursuit. You sit at your desk and put words on paper or on the computer screen and begin a silent conversation mainly with yourself. Eventually, if you’re lucky, someone else, a reader, will answer you back and so, out of the monologue a dialogue develops.

Reviews are one way readers communicate with an author. They let the author know if his or her words made them happy or angry or left them untouched. When I published my first novel, I received a few enthusiastic 5-star reviews from a couple of friends who read the book, liked it, and wanted to support me. That was wonderful. Publishing a novel or a poem is like sending a child out into the world. You want it to do well and you need all the encouragement you can get.

However, after a while my readership grew. People I don’t know and who don’t know me judge what they read on its own merits, according to their tastes, likes and dislikes. Some love it and respond enthusiastically, others like it a little, and a few may hate it. People have different tastes and look for different things in a book and so they react differently to it. And that’s the way it should be. An author does not need to please everybody. My only task as an author is to be true to myself and I hope, by doing so, I may connect with people out there of like mind. 

Every once in a while, however, I read a review or receive an email from a reader who tells me that my book touched him or her on a deeper, more personal level, that it reminded him of an experience or a situation in his own life. That for me is the highest praise. It tells me that I don’t only write for myself, but what I put down means something to someone else. I’m not just sitting in front of my computer or my notepad by myself; I am, in fact, communicating something of value to someone else. That’s all the justification I need to go on writing.

Thank you, dear readers, for sharing your thoughts with me!


  1. I really appreciate those readers who go the extra step in contacting me personally. And it was an extra thrill the first time someone told me they lost sleep because they couldn't stop reading.

    Btw, I recognize the photo is this post, I almost downloaded it from Morguefile yesterday. ;-)

  2. Hey, Lindsay and Linda, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I only saw it today. I should stop by my blog more often!

    Yes, it's those unexpected joyful surprises that make such a difference. We're all so busy, so if someone takes the time to go the extra mile or kilometer, what a wonderful thing!

    I go to Morguefile a lot for my illustrations. You know you're not breaking any law when using their photos.