First thing you should know is this. If I really tried, I could get caught up with the assignments for both Blogging 101 and Photo 101. I’m sure I could, but I’m not going to. Sure, I want to be a blogging “Zero to Hero” and a photography “Zero to Hero” in thirty days, but I honestly believe at this point, I am going to do it on my own, of my own accord, according to my own devices, knowing only one or two chords, without benefit of a harpsichord.
So this is my last official (or not) entry for Blogging and Photo 101. According to the assignment, I am to “publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.” I will try to accomplish this goal, but I might stray…which I am sometimes inclined to do – particularly when my real goal is to write something interesting or humorous – to write what my “voice” tells me to write.
There is an old saying – Home is where the heart is. I’m sure this is familiar to many of you. Let me modify it a bit and say – Home is where my wife is. Many years back, when I first started to take writing kinda-sorta seriously, she was my perfect reader. Why? Because I could count on her to read whatever I wrote and give me honest feedback…no matter how little or much it hurt. Criticism, no matter how good the intent, always stings a little bit.
What in the world makes a perfect reader now? Things were easy when my wife was the “perfect reader.” The internet didn’t exist as it does today. WordPress didn’t exist at all, at least not to my knowledge. This was 1984 for God’s sake! To get someone to read something of mine, I actually had to give them pieces of paper with actual writing on them; whether handwritten scrawl or dot-matrix printing (which some of us actually had).
So, the question of a “perfect reader” becomes a question of the writer, perfect or not. How does one define a writer…who is a writer? In today’s modern age of the internet, WordPress, Kindle publishing, on-demand publishing, and a host of other publishing platforms, a writer is anyone who chooses and takes the time to write something. Truth is, it doesn’t even have to be all that original…or all that good.. You no longer need to have an agent and a bunch of “clips” or a “deal” with a magazine or a book publisher. All you need to do is create an account on WordPress, pick a cool theme, and publish your first post…and…Wah Lah!…you are a writer.
But, it wasn’t always like that. Writers today, if they choose not to, no longer need to worry about rejection slips, query letters, the Writer’s Market, or how many words they can churn out to meet a deadline. They might not get paid for what they write, and if they do, it might not be much, but any Tom, Dick, Harry, Sue, Jill or Mary can call themselves, and actually, truly, genuinely be a bonafide writer.
They, (they being you, or me) just need a reader, or two, or ten, or ten thousand. If a writer is going to write, they need…they so desperately want and need someone, anyone, to read what they wrote. They need you…the person who is reading this, or that, or the other thing – to be the “Perfect Reader.”
Are you the “Perfect Reader” that every writer, including me, is looking for? We write to inform you, cajole you, convince you, entertain you, lie to you, and cry out to you. Read this, read me. Love me and need me. Believe me and feed me. Do this and you will be…
My Perfect Reader.
2 thoughts on “Blogging 101 | Post 4 – To Be a Writer – and a Reader”
I enjoyed your meanderings. I have a hubby who has often served the purpose of being my perfect reader, and like your wife he gives me honest feedback (and our marriage survives it lol). I didn’t really have a perfect reader, I am much like you I write what I am urged to write, like a nagging voice that is only eased when I give it voice.
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