Friday, April 25, 2014

Sharing Words + Evoking Emotions = Writer's Joy

by Debra H. Goldstein

Starving artists, writers, and other creators of the arts often share the sentiment that personal satisfaction is enough.  The claim is that it doesn’t matter whether or not an audience exists for the work.  As many writers explain, “I write because I have to.”  For those of you who feel that way, I tip my hat and salute you.  I am not as noble as you are.

I want an audience!  To me, a writer’s joy comes from sharing words that evoke an emotional response. Lest you think me selfish, understand the listener can be the universe of readers, a room of people, my neighbor’s pet dog, or my almost one-year-old granddaughter.  She thinks anything I write, as long as I read it with weird voices while making funny faces, is fantastic.

My Best Audience
Not all of my writing is fantastic.  A lot of my efforts aren’t even good.  Hopefully, I am the only audience for those pieces.  But, I want reaction to the ones I believe have some merit.  I want to know if I touch someone or if something in the piece doesn’t work.  Feedback is what gives me the tools to revise, to think deeper, and to grow my ability to write.

It’s truly a joy when my work hits a homerun, but as a writer I get joy even from a critique.  Perhaps I do write because I must or perhaps it simply is the way I share my feelings in a manner that connects to those around me.  What about you?

4 comments:

  1. I think deep down we all want someone to validate our work, regardless of what it might be. Because writing is so personal, like putting ourselves out there laid bare, we need to know that it matters.

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    1. Carol, You are so right. Whether one is a writer or an artist of any type, one needs some type of validation. Last night, I participated in a reading for new pieces published in The Birmingham Arts Journal (my story, Early Frost appears in the April edition). After those of us with published pieces read, the microphone was open. Three people read....different levels of achievement, but all wanted applause and encouragement. Thanks for stopping by today....dhg

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  2. I have worked for many years as a psychotherapist. It all depended on the client, and I would do something "right" and the client might not like it. If things went badly, I felt badly.When the client did well, I was pleased that they had done well. The operative word being "they." So I took satisfaction where I could, and I watched over my "chicks" as I called them. By the way, your granddaughter not only adorable, but she's wearing an adorable suit!

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    1. First, thank you....we think she is adorable too (first Halloween)! It is interesting that you found the comparison between the writer or artist and the psychotherapist because you efforts also were creative. If your suggestions or methods, created by you, worked or didn't work and were appreciated or not, you felt the consequences. I'm glad you stopped by and made the comparison because it shows just how wide the scope of this issue is when we apply it to everything we do.

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