Are author and reader equally important?
As a professional writer I think about the exchange my words create between myself and readers. I value you the most, above my own message, because you are my audience, the people I want to communicate with.
When I read, I feel that position of importance because I want pleasure from the writing. I expect the writer to entertain and engage me. I care little about the author usually, and the message matters most.
Sedaris understands this, pointing to the reader who brings so much to his pieces of writing. He suggests that authors are ignorant if they see themselves and their ideas as all important.
The reader brings thoughts, ideas, and value to the author's words, and these are essential in creating a powerful connection with the writing. The reader brings the words to full life.
Stoddard acknowledges that the reader is important, but emphasizes that the author's expression of ideas and experience is at least equal to the reader's entertainment. The author's vital role is in sharing his message with power.
He implies that if a writer simply panders to an audience, the words become hollow.
I value the reader's experience and expect her to desire to be entertained and enlightened by my language. However, my message is essential for communication to take place, for me to feel fulfilled as a writer.
The writer, reader, and message are of equal value to me, sometimes one becoming more important than the others, in a give-and-take relationship.
What are your thoughts on these relationships and how to create the ideal reading experience? If would share your ideas in the comment section below, I would greatly appreciate it.
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