Posted by cynthiashepp
The Sacred Relationship: The Reader and the Writer
It will come as no surprise that in order to do the job of writing a book well, you must also be an avid reader. I know that I am just one among a countless number of people who’ve spent their lives sharing with the visions and imaginations of authors. I’m also a film fanatic, and often take great enjoyment from forgetting myself for a couple of hours in the cinema. In fact, I regularly have the debate with friends regarding the merits of reading versus watching a film. And while I’m not going to deviate by delving too deeply into this particular discussion, I will say this: a great film can certainly be very compelling, and in the greatest examples, will leave an indelible mark on you.
A great book, however, is like nothing else on earth. A book doesn’t force feed you any images or ideas. There is not one vision that you are presented with. A good book weaves a path and leaves messages along the way for you to pick up. A good book entices you into its realm, but it also makes you work for it by asking you to form your own inner world, using the author’s words as signposts.
I’ve always thought it a beautiful idea that when I read a particular book, I am sharing it with so many other people, yet my own personal vision of the book’s characters and settings won’t be the same as anyone else’s. When we read Great Expectations, for example, we’re each of us carrying our own version of Pip and Miss Havisham and Estella in our heads; a vision crafted from our own lives and experiences. We are, in effect, making our own unique, internal movie of the book, resulting in millions of different versions the world over from just one text.
I recently read a quote from an old Paris Review interview with John Steinbeck, who said that a writer tries to communicate like a distant star sending signals in order to establish a relationship of meaning and feeling. This got me thinking about the relationship between the writer and the reader, and just how important it is.
When a book brings you into its world and takes you along for a ride, it really is as if you are communicating with the author across time and space, sharing the experience with them, yet also making it your own by adding ideas and images to it that are no one else’s. I think it’s a truly great privilege for a writer to have this opportunity, and to share their stories and connect with strangers around the world. And while entertainment is always the main factor when writing a book that you want people to read, I also believe that it’s a chance to plug into something far more powerful than the internet, and to impart a piece of yourself.
In an age of quick-fix entertainment and constant distraction, I don’t think there could be a better time for us to engage more deeply in this reader-writer relationship. And from a reader’s perspective, I know that my life has been greatly enhanced by this relationship I’ve had with so many writers, and always will be.
I’ve tried to do the same thing with my first novel, and while time will tell whether I’ve succeeded or not, I only hope that I can impart even a smidgeon of the enjoyment I’ve taken from so many books.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/LCS2ZE
Amazon Uk: http://amzn.to/Mq7Qhn
The Giveaway is simple. You get two chances to enter. (1 ebook copy of Project Hope)
1) The first one is MANDATORY. You must leave a comment on this post that has something to do with this guest post. That will get you in the running!
2) Follow Sean Joyce on Twitter for a second entry. Click HERE to follow him. Make sure you leave a comment here saying you did. If you already have, just leave a comment on here saying you already did.
Easy-Peasy! The names will go in a random name generator. I will put all the names in there 1 or 2 times depending on the number of times you entered. I will hit the button and it will give us a winner! The contest closes at 8 a.m CST 7/20. Winners will be announced shortly afterwards. GOOD LUCK!