There are countless writing articles about finding an audience. How we, as writers, must tap into a potential reader’s desires or goals. How we must fulfill a need, solve a problem, or provide entertainment. If we do not understand who we are writing for, there is no connection and the message behind our idea is lost. We must know our reader.
Today, I focus on the reader who knows me.
These are the people I interact with on a personal level – relatives, friends, neighbors. Every time I hear from someone who has read my books (friend or stranger), I feel warm fuzzies inside. I smile wider. The sun shines brighter. I hold my head a little higher. And when that someone is known to me, my writer heart swells even more.
Yesterday, I heard from one my most favorite people – my mother.
I should note that my mother is recovering from a difficult surgery. She is not new to illness, but this recent procedure has proven harder to overcome, the process of recovery filled with unexpected delays and challenges. Yet somewhere in her sleepless nights, doctor appointments, pain management, and physical therapy sessions, she read my latest book The Breakup Effect. And when she finished the book, she did what she always does … she told me she loved it. I hope she loved it. I really do. But I care more about something else.
She made time to read it. She made time for me.
With every book I write, there is a little part of me that waits … it waits for my mother to read it for the first time. It does not matter how long the book has been out. I wait for her announcement. I wait for her opinion. I wait for her approval. Because although I know her as a reader of my books, she is the one who knows me best.
To be honest, I do not know if my book is to be loved but I am terribly proud of it. I vowed to jump outside my comfort zone and I did. I set a goal to finish a tenth book and I did. But in the scope of things, I really do not know how great it is.
I can promise this: I take writing seriously. I only publish stories I think are worth sharing. I never put out anything that is not ready. I set high standards for myself and strive to meet every one of them. If a book carries my name, it carries a part of me and in turn, must prove it is worthy. I believe I create a quality product but as for the actual enjoyment of my work, I have to rely on my readers – known and unknown – for reviews and feedback.
My hope? That a story of mine touches the person who reads it so much that they feel compelled to reach out to me with a compliment or critique. Because when they do, I become deeply touched in return.
My mother knows that.
Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash