Writing is a lonely job. The act of putting words on paper with the clear goal of creating some form of art, whether is a novel, a short story, a poem, or a play requires solitude. It’s an inexorable truth about the condition of the writer; he has to be able to put aside the real world, the world outside his window, so he can focus more on the world that he’s creating.
And it’s a troublesome process; it involves a lot of hard work. It is generally believed that great writers can effortlessly write brilliant stories. But it’s not like that. It takes time, it takes a lot of patience, and, of course, it takes a lot of hard work. No one can write a fantastic first draft.
But today’s writers are a different breed. Self-publishing has managed to turn writers from the introvert characters of the past into machines that are able to write, advertise, blog, write reviews and guest posts. If it’s good or not, I can’t be the judge of that. But I do know that it’s a good way to connect with readers; via social networks or an author blog, or through reading communities like Goodreads. And it adds a whole new dimension to the writing business.
In the end, I am sure that artists, in general, and writers, in particular, create their art for a million different reasons. Some do it to entertain, some as a way of escaping a tragic life, some do it because they desire to attain a certain immortality. Undoubtedly, some do it for fame, glory, or money. But I think that all artists have this in common; they’re all driven by the desire to share their art with the world. That’s what we all want; for someone to listen to us sing, for someone, at least one person, to read our stories.
What is it there for artists other than the chance to share our most precious and beloved talent with the world?
Indeed, there are certain artists, very few, who didn’t want to share their art. Kafka, for once, wanted all his manuscripts be burned. But those are few exceptions. Most artists want to be read, listened to, or admired. And this is what all writers should keep in mind; that someone is reading their work, someone is willing to give up a little bit of the most precious commodity on Earth, time, and read the words they have put on paper.
And this takes me to my next point: when someone loves your story. This is a feeling that can’t be described, and can’t be felt by anyone else but the writer. In its uniqueness lies what, I reckon, all writers should consider as being the ultimate goal; to please their readers. To make them feel, to make them cry or laugh, to make them happy or sad. Because this is a power few people have. Just a couple of friends or maybe a million strangers, but in the end all we need is for someone to genuinely enjoy reading our stories. Money, fame, all that, comes as a bonus, if we’re lucky enough.
The Modern Writer has the capability and the tools to connect with his readers in a way that wasn’t possible before. The world is getting smaller, the internet is faster, and more and more people are reading on their computers, e-readers, or cell phones. This is a century of technology, a century in which everyone’s connected with everyone else, and The Modern Writer should make the best of it.