Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Readers Wanted, Inquire Within

Okay, here's a writer's confession: I scour the press for reviews, I covet fan mail, I've vanity Googled more times than I'd want anyone to discover. This raw hunger for attention and acclaim makes me feel lousy about myself. I should be humble, I think. To work for God's eyes alone is enough. But is it? Writers are involved in what Karl Marx (he wasn't wrong about everything) described as a "dialectic relationship." Teachers need students, doctors need patients, and writers, to complete our dialectic, need readers.

So cheer up, writers. We don't always crave adulation for pride's sake, although admittedly pride twists its' way into everything we do. In this lonely vocation, we're ravenous for relationship, a chance to connect the dots between us, our work, and the reader — any reader, even one who hated every word we penned (or keyboarded). And readers, here's my plea: send a note of response to the writer of the last book or article you read. It might forestall another round of wasteful self-Googling and inspire her (or him) to obey the Spirit's prompting: GET BACK TO WORK, MY LOVE.

Dialectically yours,

Mitali

3 comments:

Tricia Goyer said...

No way. Did you sneak into my office as I was Googling this morning--searching for reviews for my recently released novel. Ugh!

Well, at least I'm not the only one!

David said...

"Karl Marx wasn't wrong about everything." Well put. Now, just what was he wrong about, then?

David

Mitali Perkins said...

It's been a long time since I taught political science, but if you look at the collapse of Marxist regimes all around the globe, you might see how his teachings fell apart when practiced. I think he described the problems of poverty, injustice, and oppression well, but his prescription wasn't based on the right understanding of human nature. We're self-motivated sinners, unfortunately and it's hard for us to share. Perhaps another reader will have more insight to share?