Is it right for an author to ask a reader for personal information?
From my early years and into most of my adult life, I’d always thought writers were solitary creatures, locking themselves away in a safe environment so they could focus on the craft of writing. Perhaps that’s true in some sense–while one performs the actual writing–but in today’s storytelling market, it doesn’t pay to live in a vacuum. A writer must engage with his / her audience.
How else would you know if you’ve “hit the sweet spot” for your readers? How could you know if you’ve touched a heart with the images you’ve rendered, by the words you’ve combined, by the world you’ve built from the ground up? Have you thrilled their senses with the way you portrayed a scene? Have you entertained? Have you prodded someone to think deeper on a subject? Did your story become a call to action for an important social topic?
How would an author know any of these things unless soliciting input or feedback from the readers?
So…if I seem to be a bit nosy, if I seem to step across a personal boundary you’re uncomfortable with, if I make a social faux-pas, if I ask for something you’re not willing to divulge…just tell me so. I’ll back up, regroup, and give you space. I do want to keep you as a good acquaintance, perhaps even becoming a good friend over time.
Ground rules, then:
- Our communications will be done with respect for one another
- We will use our “adult words”, without any offensive language
- We will not pry, but rather solicit with questions
- If we deign not to answer a question, we will say so
- If, perchance, we offend, we will be swift to make it right
Are we good then? These guidelines aren’t onerous, are they? I mean, I can live with them. How about you? Good?
Okay, then let’s get to know each other over my writings and yours, if you decide to share. I have some initial offerings you can take out for a test run. They’re on Amazon, produced with AKDP and CreateSpace. Most of the stories have been brought into the world via the NaNoWriMo.org challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days with 0 excuses. You should try that for yourself sometime.
How do you link to my Amazon Author Page? Try this: amazon.com/author/samwesthoek