I have been writing essays under the banner of Defiant Wellness for over two years. It began as a simple personal journal of my entry into the world of fitness.
Then I risked personal embarrassment and opened it up for public viewing. I write for my own pleasure, but I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy feedback from readers.
Writing is a solitary pursuit, so it is gratifying when after all the work is done, someone is helped, or encouraged, or moved, by what you put to paper (or pixels).
Some posts resonate with you more than others. I have had posts that only a dozen people read and some that have been read by thousands. But I never have a clue which ones will connect with my readers.
The usual scenario is I write a piece which I think will be a Home Run, and it’s a dud. Another day, I simply write a piece that reflects my current level of frustration and I hit it out of the park. I just never know, and you always surprise me.
One of my favorite authors was John Steinbeck. Twenty years ago, Suzanne and I made our only trip to the west coast. We drove up the Pacific Coast Highway. We spent a day in Monterey.
As we walked around, I was very much aware that Steinbeck had been in these very neighborhoods. Yes, the area is filled with tourists, but I looked out over rotting piers where sardine canneries once stood, and thought back to grittier days. Days vividly painted by a man’s words, onto my imagination. Words written many decades ago, that imprinted an image into another person’s memory. That kind of power amazes me.
In writing, your audience is one single reader. – John Steinbeck
As a new year is on the horizon, I take stock of where I’ve been, and where I’m headed. I love writing about life and the things that make it joyful, and sometimes sorrowful. It is my desire to use words to magnify the wonder of my common life, to revel in the magnificence of its simplicity.
No, I am not suggesting I am magnificent. But this body, mind, spirit, and all the interactions with family and friends amaze me. I take none of it for granted. It’s like a finely woven tapestry. Threads seem to run everywhere and intersect at the most unusual places.
When asked about who he wrote for, in a 1975 interview, John Steinbeck answered:
“Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.”
So as I embark on another year of writing, I wonder who I write for. Yes, I admit I write for myself, as therapy. But who are you? Please tell me. (FYI – Survey Closed, but you can Contact me with suggestions)