I admit that most of the time when I blog, I write to the void, throwing out words without much thought as to who’s reading them the other side. I bash away at the keyboard, trying to put my ideas and thoughts into words and then publishing them on the web for the world to see.
Except most of the time, the world doesn’t see it. Out of the 7 or so billion people on this planet, a negligible number see these words. Every so often, a friend will say they enjoyed what they read on my blog, and it always takes me back. ‘Woah, someone actually reads this? A real breathing person?’ This is quickly followed by a moment of panic as I think back to the recent posts I’ve written. Was there anything there that was a bit weird? Anything that could be misconstrued? Oh dear, was that the post where I got all philosophical about catching a bus?
Sometimes, it’s easier writing to the void. The void’s pretty easy going. It never judges you for what you write, or mistakes enthusiasm for pretension, or pick up on that embarrassing spelling mistake. But there’s another side to the void.
It doesn’t care.
You can pour out your heart, lay your soul bare, and the void won’t even notice.
The real problem is that it’s so much easier to write to the void than to an actual person. This is especially true for stories. I have three full length first drafts sat on my laptop’s hard drive, that have been read by less than a handful of people. Because once they’re out there, you can’t take them back, and that’s pretty scary. Those feelings that come sharing a blog? Well, they’re a million times worse sharing a novel.
So, if I’m not writing to the void, who should I write for? Who would be my dream reader?
In all honesty, my first thought was some big shot director, someone who would see my blogs, read my stories, and then buy the film rights and insist on flying me out to Hollywood so I could help write the script.
I won’t lie, that would be great.
In spite of that, they wouldn’t actually be my dream reader, and not just because the scenario’s as likely as me being struck by lightning 227 times. In one day.
I don’t write because I want to be rich. I don’t write because I want to be famous. If I did, there are a million easier ways to achieve both.
I write stories because I love the feeling that comes from reading a good story. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, and everything in between, all because of some symbols written on a page. This isn’t limited to the written word; films have changed the way I look at the world, music has touched my soul. But I can’t make a film by myself, and I can’t hold a tune, so writing it is.
About Today – The National. One of those songs that gets me every single time.
In his work ‘On Writing,’ Stephen King talks about writing as a form of telepathy, a way of transferring thoughts across time and space, and he’s right. Shakespeare’s words touch us hundreds of years after he wrote them, wherever we live. When you look at it that way, it’s no exaggeration to say that writing is one of the most magical gifts we have, more magical than any amount of money or fame.
I want to share that gift with others. For a few brief moments, I want to take readers away from this world to another place, far from here. It might be post-apocalyptic Cardiff, or it could be a skyscraper in Dubai. You might meet a business man who’s lost everything, or a girl who refuses to accept her fate. Either way, if I do my job right, you’ll feel what they feel. You’ll cheer their victories and mourn their losses, just as I do.
So that who my ideal reader is: Someone who’s ready to go on a journey without taking a single step. The adventurers. The telepathic. If you are, that’s all I could wish for. If these stories have that effect on you, that’s because they were written for you.