Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Greatest Gift for a Writer

The greatest gift that anyone can give a writer is to read her/his work. Readers are absolutely important for writers and by readers I don’t just mean the Beta Readers, but also the other readers who go out and buy our books or perhaps borrow them from the library.

 My first contact with my readers came about when I started writing for the newspapers. These initial readers went a long way in encouraging me and egging me on to continue writing. In those days, every where I went people who would have read my articles, features and stories in the supplements of the newspapers would come up to me and mention how much they liked my writing or how it appealed to them. During those days I wrote a lot of features and articles in the weekly supplements. For several minutes I would bask in the warmth of their praise.

This hasn’t changed even a little bit. I still crave feedback from my readers. Sometimes I wonder whether it’s these words of praise that fuels a writer’s writing.

One of my all time favourite reader: an old gentleman, would make it a point to walk up to me in the club I visit, and tell me how much he loved my story/feature/article. He had never missed any article I had written for the newspapers. Infact, he even told me that the moment he received the morning’s paper, he would look for my byline and if he saw an article by me, he would read that first and then move on to the other news.

When I started writing children’s stories, he followed me into that territory faithfully. Its readers like him (he is no more) that I cherish and it’s their comments that motivate me to keep writing.

Do you all have any favourite memories where readers are concerned? Any reader or any particular reader comment that has stayed in your mind forever? No, we all won’t think you are gloating or indulging in self-praise. I am sure we all are interested in reading about what your readers think of your writing. It’s practically the end of the year and we all badly want a little cheer and smiles to light up our faces. Please feel free to write about your readers.

24 comments:

Rahul Bhatia said...

So true Rachna! I am already addicted to your writing! :) It gives a wonderful feeling if some people have nice things to say after reading what you write!I am fortunate to have a few readers who are among the best writers themselves so even a word or two from them keeps me going.

J.L. Campbell said...

Some people I talk to are shocked when I tell them it's okay if I never make a lot of money from my writing, but that it is more important that people are reading my books. Usually, it's people who don't write who have a challenge understanding what I mean.

Without readers giving encouragement, I don't think I would have bothered to continue this far. It's a wonderful boost when I get a compliment about my writing and even better when a reader finds some deeper meaning in there that I never saw on a conscious level.

Good post, Rachna.

Terri Tiffany said...

I am always amazed and blessed when I hear from a reader! It is the highest compliment ever!

Langa Tenzin said...

Yeah, It feels great to have readers comment on our posts. A nice post, ma'am. Thanks to my little network of blog-sphere, I got to experience the feeling of being commented on an article by reader. Although I am not a writer, I know how important a reader's comment is in encouraging and inspiring a writer. I am indebted to some of the regular readers, who reads all kinds of articles no matter what and always comment. Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

Karen Lange said...

I agree, this is the best gift! We know we are called to write, but the positive affirmation is so encouraging.

Slamdunk said...

Good point Rachna. I have a list of new readers that I need to get to--and hopefully will be able to recommend the works to others.

Stephen Tremp said...

I haven't read reader reviews in a while. I have a few awesome ones I want to put up on my blog page for Synopsis and reviews. Thanks for the reminder.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi friends..one thing we all agree on is that we just cannot do without our readers. Its our readers who motivate to keep writing inspite of all the odds building up against us. Thank God for dedicated readers!

Leoparsica said...

Very true madam, I too experience such pleasure when my readers comment and praise my stuffs on my blog. Nice read madam.

Mirka Breen said...

Readers and writers are the real gift-exchangers.
Lovely post.

Mark Noce said...

How very true, I never thought of it that way before. I'm down for reading any of your stories, just give me a ping...markchristophernoce@gmail.com

Robyn Campbell said...

This is a lovely post, Rachna! What an awesome gift. The highest compliment paid to a writer. Yay for readers of our books. :-)

Peggy Eddleman said...

I love feedback from readers! That old man sounds so sweet! I love him just from your description! I think you're right-- it's those kinds of things that can really fuel your writing.

Lynda R Young said...

oh wow, how amazing to have not only regular readers, but fans as well! Awesome.

Victoria Dixon said...

So cool you had "regulars." Wow. I had one reader - not a normal critique partner, he was the husband of a fellow-writer and he happened to be there one day and volunteered to read my chapter. He got done with the chapter, looked up and in a shaky voice asked if it was supposed to make him cry.
I was elated. I still cherish that moment - both of hearing my male-centric book read by a man, but even more, seeing/hearing his reaction. Sadly, that chapter had to be removed, but I hope and pray the book overall will still illicit an emotional response.

Lydia Kang said...

When my betas give me praise, they mean it, so it's particularly special for me because they have that critical eye and are hard to please.

Rachna Chhabria said...

@ Mark..I will hold you to your promise to read my work. I am going to send you my stories soon. Would love to get your feedback :)

Life Unordinary said...

any compliment to my blog, no matter how small, is music to my ears. It makes me feel like it's all worth it, like my writing is not in vain.

the best compliments are from long lost friends who message me on FB and tell me they are enjoying my blog!

Dave King said...

Another fabulous write. Further in your debt!

Melissa Crytzer Fry said...

Great post, Rachna! I think the greatest compliment I got was on a magazine article I wrote about Palliative Care. The editor called me to tell me that he had tears in his eyes, and one of the researchers I interviewed (who happens to run the MFA program), wrote a me a note that started, "Beautiful Writer, Melissa..." Ahh. I agree that positive reinforcement like that does, indeed, keep us moving forward as writers. We want our readers to love our words!

Misha Gericke said...

Sadly, I have very few reader's memories, since I'm still working to refine my book.

Still, I recently came second in my first ever creative writing blogfest, and I really loved the comments people left. :-)

Julia Hones said...

So true, Rachna! When I wrote regularly for the supplement of a newspaper many yeas ago, I had people who e-mailed me to say how much they liked to read me. It was very rewarding. Being read is the most rewarding experience, a gift and a treasure. Thanks for bringing to my mind these beautiful memories.

Julie Musil said...

Wow, it's amazing that you have such faithful readers. That's amazing. My favorite experience with this is when I wrote an article about the health benefits of laughter. It was published in an online magazine for teen girls, and the readers were able to comment on the article. It was such fun to hear what the girls had to say!

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

How wonderful that that man always looked for your byline and read your articles first. That must have been so rewarding. You are so right that we writers crave readers. Writing is communication, after all. I think the nicest feedback I had was when a friend told me his grandson had liked my book so much that he took it into school and read it to his class.