I Need You and The Village People

I need you as a new recruit

Let’s be clear from the onset, I do NOT need The Village People. To the best of my knowledge, no one ever has or did. I need YOU. Really, I do. No, this is not flattery or trying to seduce you. I am a married lady after all. But let it be known, I need YOU. As for the camp crew obsessed with young men’s institutions, macho men and sailors? Keep reading, it will all become clear. Hopefully…

Every writer needs a reader, or if they strike literary gold, they will have many readers. Those who write for pleasure may be happy that they, or close family and friends, will be their readers. This is perfectly valid. Anyone trying their hand at writing is good in my book (excuse the rubbish pun, I can write better than this, honest guv).

Then there are the writers who need you, the reader, because they want to put their writing in the hands of a wider audience. It may seem foolish, it can even feel that way for the writer. Sharing your imagination and creativity with others is daunting. You leave yourself exposed (in a non-nudey kind of way, unless you’re writing smut) and vulnerable. You are allowing people to criticise you and judge your ability to write. You are putting yourself through a mill where you could land up mangled.

Your work may never get published and you will appear, to some, as a failure. You could potentially isolate friends and family in begging them to read your work and then getting royally pissed off when they refuse to talk about it or review it. They hide behind the sofa when they see you coming up the garden path, cut your call off, and unfriend you on Facebook; all because they cannot bear to tell you to your face that your work, in their humble opinion, is rubbish.

Why write or blog?

So why do it? Because for every person who hates it, there will hopefully be at least one person in this world that doesn’t. People are regularly telling me that a writer has to develop a thick skin in order to deal with self-doubt and rejections. I am working on this by adopting a Teflon coated wardrobe, inserting earplugs, and giving people the ‘teacher death stare’ before they dare to give an opinion.

I write because I think I have something to share. Who, and with how many people, is currently unknown. What I do know is that every writer/author needs a reader.

This is why I blog, add updates to social media and have created a Facebook group. Not because I am trying to kill you off slowly with boredom at my postings. Not because I think I’m more interesting than anyone else, although I exclude people who post pictures of every meal * and who regularly document their child’s bowel habits from this. I write on social media because this writer needs YOU.

I guess what I’m saying is, ‘I want you, I want you, I want you as a new recruit…’ Go look up The Village People right now, you young ‘uns and prepare to feel sorry for those of us who lived through it and still insist on doing the ‘YMCA’ at weddings.  Here is the evidence on You Tube (warning, do not join the Navy on the strength of this video): 

I’ll leave you with this insightful reasoning as to why your author needs YOU:

‘Your mind is the projection screen every writer steals; it is the firing of your neurons that makes every book come alive. You are the electricity that turns it on. A book cannot live until the touch of your hand on the first page brings it alive. A writer is essentially typing blank pages – shouting out spells in the dark – until the words are read by you, and the magic explodes into your head, and no one else’s.’ (Caitlin Moran, Taken from Moranisfesto).

What she said. And then some.

* Although if it’s an amazing recipe with cheese in it, you are immediately forgiven.

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

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