You’re My “You”
Can I write you a letter? Can I pour out my heart to you? Can I write just for you?
My You. If that’s okay.
You who’ve watched me fumble and fit and mostly self-doubt and occasionally celebrate right here on the blog.
You’re my why. I don’t know where you are or even when you are. Maybe my you is someone five years in the future who stumbles across some link somewhere and clicks out of sheer boredom.
Or strolls into some bookstore and picks up a second-hand copy of a random anthology one of my stories is tucked in.
But I know you are there. Somewhere.
Maybe you’re watching. Maybe waiting. Maybe neither watching nor waiting—not quite yet.
I don’t know what you look like. Sometimes you have a face or a form. Most of the time not. A face that isn’t and that is always changing.
Some vague someone, but yet not vague at all. Someone unique, and yet just beyond my mind’s eye’s ability to see your features.
My Muse likes to play and pretend and tells me that “you” is a twelve-year-old kid. Other times, my you is my 90-year-old grandmother. Sometimes, my you is nothing like a kid or a grandmother, but some middle-aged man in Colorado riding a horse up the side of a snowy mountain. Little Miss Muse needs to stifle it sometimes…
Maybe you’re someone that clicks a link and lands here. Someone that maybe clicks another and lands on Amazon. Someone that waits for the first Friday of the month. Or maybe you don’t, but another you might someday.
I don’t know what you look like. Not necessarily. I try not to put a face to my “audience” even though the Muse does her best…
If I did, then the “audience” would influence the next thing I do, and I don’t want that. I don’t want to write what all the “yous” expect. I don’t much care about other authors’ yous, that’s the other authors’ responsibilities. I want to surprise myself, so I won’t write to mass market. Ever. And I want to surprise my yous. My yous are the most important to me.
I want the words I write to move you to feel something. Something like joy. Maybe tears (well, maybe not that, so much, but it’s been known to happen a few times to a few yous.) Maybe to give you a temporary escape from the mundane. Open a world where nearly anything is possible. Mostly to move you to dream and imagine. To shock sometimes.
I think about you quite often. Probably more than I should, given the fact we may not have met. Maybe we never will.
I think about you when I need to escape. I think about you when life gets rocky and the thought of you gives me great comfort. That you’re out there. Somewhere. Waiting. Or someday will be waiting for our next adventure.
And the thought that I can be where you’re at and not even know you is incredibly cool.
Have you ever thought about that? That when you read something, the author, in a way, is right there with you. In your head.
That’s an intimate experience. That I can put thoughts into your head. That, if I’ve done my job correctly, I can put feelings into your being that you weren’t experiencing before you opened the book.
Or clicked the link.
I’ve thought about you so much that there’s this connection now. That I can use words to paint scenes and people and events into your imagination that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. And for a moment—hopefully many moments—it’s just you and me and the world I’ve created and we do this intricate dance that transcends time and space. With just little black-and-white marks on the page and imagination.
You and me. Me and you.
And if we, the authors, are lucky or skilled or whatever enough, you won’t be thinking of us too much, per se, but you’ll nonetheless allow us to seduce your brain into suspending disbelief long enough to take you on a journey. A journey we’ve taken with our story multiple times during the writing process, and now we share it with you and you’re there with us. With our characters. With our ideas and dreams and hopes.
I wrote a blog early on called “It’s Not About You” where I explain that I’m not trying to put anyone I personally know into my stories. That all characters are made-up people.
And that’s true.
But it is for you. My audience. My readers.
If it’s not about you, you and me together for a few moments of escape, then what am I doing this for?
Thank you for being you. The you right here in 2019.
The you who stumbles across this in 2024.
The you who will someday find this work in some format current technology has yet to dream up.
The you who went old-school and found it in paperback.
To all the yous.
Thank you for being my why.
Thank you for hanging out for a bit. Check back on Mondays for a new blog and the first Friday of every month for a free fictional short, and be sure to visit my Amazon page.