Tuesday, July 16, 2019

What Creatives Crave---

An Audience!

In her excellent collection of essays about the writing life, (Bird by Bird) Anne Lamott tells of her experience teaching writing classes. She writes that her students do not so much want to learn how to write better, but how to get an agent and how to be published. Her answer, that they should learn to write better and even then, most will not be traditionally published, satisfies no one. They are hoping that by taking her class they will get an introduction to the main table or at least to her agent or editor.

This is less a quest for riches than a need to put one’s skills to use and connect.

Because a writer is seeking readers. An actor is seeking an audience. We know our stories well, but we want you to hear them. We also want to hear yours. We want to reach out beyond the confines of our own minds and bodies, and be connected to others out there.

And so we conjure and we laugh and we marvel and we bleed onto the page, or the stage, and are surprised anew at how unfazed the world is by our offerings.

This is the real story of creatives. Mind you, we’re also surprised when the world takes notice. We never know what to make of it.

I use the plural tense of “we” here not as the Royal We, but because I am fortunate to be connected to other creatives in my family and many friends, and we all share this.

We want to connect with you.


Vijaya said...

It's funny, I always thought it was the story that wanted an audience :) I'm just its servant.

Barbara Etlin said...

Right on!

Mirka Breen said...

That, too ;)

Janie Junebug said...

It still takes me by surprise when people seem to enjoy my writing.


Mirka Breen said...

I know I do :)

Evelyn said...

You're right. We want others to enjoy our creations.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

So right. The work isn't complete until it connects with a reader. That's what it's about, not fame or riches at all. Love the way you put this, Mirka!

Sue said...

So true. Although some people think all writers are rich and famous! Ha!