I wonder how many of you (who are writers) approach your writing with your readers in mind, in the sense that you are fashioning a product for that consumer. Personally, that doesn’t work for me, but I imagine it does for many. When I read some of the reviews my stories have received online, I can only think that a lot of those people really shouldn’t be reading those stories! Yesterday on Amazon someone left a review about Tiddlywink the Mouse complaining that she couldn’t follow the plot. Maybe that’s because there is no plot! It’s a collection of silly stories about a mouse who likes to play with his friends, and frequently runs smack into gooey chocolate clouds. Maybe it’s that many English Lit classes have given people a really warped sense of expectations. They’ve been trained to believe that every piece of scribbling they encounter is going to follow certain rules, and provide them with appropriate arcs, sufficient back stories and happy endings, hopefully including either a wedding or a romantic murder-suicide pact. On that basis they go around acting like English Lit teachers grading homework assignments and doling out their carefully considered apportion of stars. When I write with such readers in mind, I want to mess with their heads. I really do. I want to let them know that an ending is just that, where something ends. We are all of us facing an ending in this life, and it’s an ending we are not going to like very much, so I’d like suggest that they might as well get used to it. Of course, I’m not trying to sell something to these readers – or to any readers. It’s one of the (many) reasons I give away my stories for free, so that I can be free, free to write without any readers in mind. As usual, I am only speaking for myself.
This post was originally going to be about the relationship between daydreaming and writing. It recently occurred to me that daydreaming is where writing began for me, not in contact, but in the practice of the voice inside my head.