Saturday, October 8, 2011


I was watching a program tonight where an artist received instant gratification/feedback for his work. I remember now. It was a chef. He grinned from ear to ear as he told how delighted he was when a customer sent a note to the kitchen that his creation touched the customer.

Stage actors receive it in applause. Fans waiting at a stage door for an autograph. Kudos when they win the Tony. Same for film actors, I suppose. A star in front of Grauman's. Applause at the Emmy's or Oscar's.

Artists when a painting/photo/statue is bought. But that sometimes doesn't mean they have actually had personal interaction with the buyer. It could be that a gallery sold it and the only feedback they get is the check. Not that receiving a check is a bad thing, mind you. No - quite the opposite. But not that one-on-one moment.

It started me thinking.

As a writer, I don't get feedback. Well, I get it now and again when I have a critique done, but that is forced. Bartering, so to speak. You critique mine - I'll critique yours. 

I know writers are supposed to be solitary folk. Here I sit at my computer, alone, tapping away. I don't know how often I'll ever get to 'see' someone smile as they read a line or weep as I kill off a character or chuckle when the scene touches home.

Perhaps that's why authors do book signings. The thought of one is rather terrifying to me. Getting up in front of folks. Nodding at their praise (hopefully). Traveling, traveling, traveling. 

I'd just like to sit next to my reader and watch as they read. Oh - that, to me, is glorious. That to me is what writing is about. Knowing I've touched someone.

I have to giggle. My face feels like the chef I spoke of earlier. I am delighted at the thought that someone is better/happier/fuller/more human because of what I've written.

Life is full.


  1. I believe it was CS Lewis who said that we read to know we are not alone. I've made it a habit of dropping an email to authors I really enjoy, if an addy is available. It's such a privilege to hear back from them. Not all answer, but quite a few do so and are delighted to hear from readers.

  2. That's a really great idea, Judy!