Monday, March 9, 2015

Writers Need Readers

Yesterday, Ken and I went to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City to attend a symphony performance. It's a magnifcent building opened in 2011. An hour prior to the performance, the Symphony Director and two other men held an informal talk and question & answer time. To listen to a symphony orchestra director, a solo clarinetist and a composer talk about the music we'd hear was informative and quite interesting. 

One of the things that Anthony McGill, the principal clarinetist for the New York Philharmonic, said stayed with me. He told a story about an audience member saying to him, "I'm no musician but..." Mr. McGill said that he stopped the man at that point and told him that, yes, he was a musician. That a musician requires an audience to hear his music. There would be no reason for him to play over and over only for himelf. So both the man making the music and the one hearing it are musicians.

I thought about what he said and decided that we can apply the same principle to writing. As writers, we need readers. Most of us write so that our words will be read by someone somewhere. Oh sure, a few people write only for themselves but they are in a definite minority. 

When I write a children's story, I aim for a large audience of kids. I hope that the story I write will entertain them, help them see certain aspects of life, and make them want to read more stories. When I write a personal essay, my goal is to bring something to my readers that might be of interest and also remind them of some universal truth that the essay illustrates. I also write to give my readers pleasure in some way.

I write this blog to help other writers--to give them tips of the trade and to encourage them to keep on writing. What good would this blog be without you, the reader? 

Just as the musician needs an audience to hear the music, we writers need you, our readers. 

Back to the symphony performance. We were entertained by some fine classical music and a new composition by Richard Danielpour whose Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, "From the Mountaintop,"  The performance afforded us a rare treat. In the same vein, I hope that some of the things I write have provided a rare treat for some of my readers. 

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