Friday, March 2, 2012

The Importance Of Readers To Writers

It occurs to me at this moment that perhaps encouraging writers to write is not going about this whole "starved writer" thing the right way. After all, what good does it do for us all to be writing if nobody reads what we write?

Yes, yes, I know a number of you fine readers of this blog prefer to keep some of your inner most written secrets private and not all sharing is good, but I think you'd agree that the more people who read the better our chances of being published.

Again, assuming getting published is your ultimate goal.

Today there are an abundance of ways for humans to communicate, many of which involve sitting down at a computer, logging-in and surfing the net. We get our information today mostly in bite-sized nuggets (much like this blog) and sometimes complain at the long wait involved in loading a page (about 2 seconds.)

I don't know about you, but I am reading no fewer than three books at the same time. I frequently crawl away from my computer throughout the day to seek the comfort of one of these books; to be transported to another time, another place; surrounded by people I will never know other than through the written words I consume.

I love to read. I love to read almost as much as I love to write stories. What I need (and you need and every writer needs) are more people just like that. We need to be encouraging not just more writers, but more readers. We need to shout to the heavens about the joy and solace we find when we crawl inside a good book. We need to convince children to turn off their computers, video games and televisions and pick up a book.

My father doesn't like to read. The only book he ever finished (that was not required of him when he was in school) was Kitty Kelley's unauthorized biography of Frank Sinatra (he's a huge fan of Old Blue Eyes.)

I wish he read more. I wish he understood just how incredible it is to slip between the pages of a book, experience things he has never experienced before vicariously through the work of the author. First, it might help him better understand where I come from and what I do, and second, he might be inclined to buy one of my books.

So, if you have dreams of becoming a published author, or already have a book for sale somewhere, make certain you put forth a little effort to encourage people to read. Children and adults; friends and neighbors; strangers you meet on the train ride to work all could benefit from reading a good book.

And as a side benefit, so could we starving writers.


3 comments:

Father to be said...

Very true. The importance of reading can never be overstated. I am continually encouraging my children to read and find myself reading more everyday. Funny thing is I just thought about what writing all that we can and yet nobody reading it. Thanks for the post.

Cheers,
Qarau

Anne said...

I really connected with your desire to send your father on a journey through reading, to visit places previously unknown. The growing epedemic of 'aliteracy' is a real concern and I hadn't even thought about it from a writer's point of view so thanks. I did a 'tongue in cheek' post, about connecting teenagers to books. It is a passion of mine. http://thelitladies.edublogs.org/2012/03/14/aliteracy-and-the-hunger-games/

Jerry Battiste said...

Qarau: You sound like a GREAT dad! Keep it up. And never stop writing...or reading! Your kids will thank you for it later.

Anne: Thanks! I have a "Starved Writer" Facebook page and "The Starved Writer" group on LinkedIn. Please feel free to post links to your post (or any posts) at both places. I am always happy to help promote fellow writers.