Hi, Mom. Throughout my nonexistent, but smashingly successful, writing career, I have figured out whose opinions I value the most. These are the people I try to have in front of me when I write anything:
God and I
You and Dad
Michael and Matt
Brianna, Joy, and Moses
David and Fionn
Even if you never read the things I write, I think of all of you when I write. Will you understand what I am saying? Will you like it? Will you hate it? What? I can be pretty liberal with my writing, opinions, ideas, grammar, spilling. If it were not for all of you, it is not that I would stop writing, but I would certainly write more “for myself.” A recent book on writing convicted me that writing for yourself is selfish and silly. I agree. Writing is communication.
First and foremost is my relationship with God and myself. I care the most about what he will think about my writing. He knows my intentions, my weaknesses, my strengths better than anyone else. I am right behind him in this – and I really am lagging behind. We talk a lot, but it is always me asking him to make me more like him. I never talk to God, telling him what is what, or agreeing with everything he says. He has a lot to say that I do not like hearing. I am always asking him questions and he is always asking me questions.
You and Dad, I try to keep from shocking. Sometimes, I shock both of you when really I am just speaking my mind. Sometimes, I shock you because a shocking idea infested me. Both of you approve (I think) of me writing at all, but still, both of you are certainly the most skeptical of my writing, my intentions, and of me. I appreciate this a lot; more than I know. I can get carried away. I can get intoxicated with ideas or observations – not always a bad thing, but from what I remember of the Epistles, drunkenness is a sin. Neither of you are sure where I am going – and, to be honest, neither am I. I am in for the ride and because we all love each other, I think we are in the roller coaster cart together.
Mrs. Daniel convicted me about using contractions ‘n’ ending sentences with prepositions I used to fill my writing with. Now, I think whenever I use a contraction or have a sentence with which I end in a preposition. I am grateful to her for her years, her ability to listen, her occasionally different perspectives, and her wisdom. She is the only person in my life I sometimes wish never asked me questions, but just kept telling me things. Unfortunately, she is too considerate not to ask questions.
Michael and Matt are my audience for metaphysical ideas. I always try to make the package crisp and the content lively, so they can tell me whether or not what I am saying is understandable and beneficial. They call me out when I am weak-sauce.
Jonte takes no “crap” – as they say. She has a long list of strong opinions in her pocket right next to her heart. Most people with long lists of strong opinions keep them in their sleeves and take them out to smack people. She does not. I always want to know what she thinks.
Brianna, Joy, and Moses are the choir, but they do not like being preached to. They will shut me down – and rightly so – if I am being too arrogant, too proud, too humble, too extreme, too deficient. They have very sensitive feelers for anything sappy or cliche, like antennae tickling the sand of my heart.
David and Fionn are my secret audience, the one I do not often talk to, but the one always on my mind. I don’t know if they read what I write, but whether they do or not, they are always in front of me.
This is my audience.