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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Readers are everything

Writing is a solitary task, but not the way you think. We need quiet and solitude, but we are never lonely. Millions of people from all over the world sit in the room with us and look over our shoulders.

When writers put pen to paper, or set fingers down on the keyboard, we are communicating with our readers. The disconnect in terms of time and distance becomes meaningless as we reach out to what we hope will be millions of readers. We might imagine a single reader -- a favorite teacher, a relative or a fellow writer -- but we are speaking to every person in the scramble suit that Bob Arctor puts on when he becomes Fred in A Scanner Darkly. We are speaking to the young, the old and the yet to be born.

In a sense we are speaking to the dead, as Glen Runciter speaks to his deceased wife Ella in UBIK, putting on the headphones connected to the glass box where she is kept in cryogenic storage.

Most of us never achieve fame or fortune, but we write because we have readers. Otherwise, the words would simply be waste of ink and paper. Or bandwidth, in the case of this blog.

So please keep reading, so we can keep writing.