In writing circles there is a lot of talk about connecting.... with the reader.
Want a book that stays with your reader?
If you want to write something that a reader won't be able to put down forget trying to connect with the reader and (wait for it...) connect with YOU.
We admire the writer who can show us something about our own humanity because they have shown us something about theirs. One of the primary reasons I put down a book has nothing to do with plot, voice, style or even genre (I have been know to read anything, even the cheerios box).
I put down books when I sense that the author has not said what they truly wanted to say. In short, they have not connected with themselves. Or worse, they have, and then they ignored the connection.
Then consider this:
"There are very few "writing problems," as such; only human ones. A lot of what we take to be writing problems are really courage problems, problems about being honest, problems confronting others and confronting ourselves."~ Ralph Keyes.
You have to get honest about your own humanity.
It's your job to find out what makes your skin itch and your brain tick. The most uncomfortable truth about you and your life THAT is what the reader wants insight into.
Readers want you to put into words what it means to be human. They want you to share the human experience through your characters. That kind of writing ONLY comes from self connection.
Put that kind of honesty into your writing and you can't help but connect with the reader.
Because we instinctively know when someone is being real and when they are full of ....well, you put your own word in there :)
Don't say I didn't warn you :)
But then we are writers, not worm farmers. The writing life is suppose to freak you out :)
To share the intimacy you have found with yourself with a reader is TERRIFYING.
And yet, you must.
All other writing is candy floss and fireworks.
Yup. It is. It is too real. THAT realness is what makes for mind blowing fiction.
I dare you, I double dare you to front up to yourself and establish the truth of who you are. Then write.
"E.B White thought that the writer's key problem was to establish communication with himself.. if a writer has been communicating with a reader, I think it is simply because he has been trying (with some success) to get in touch with himself." ~ Ralph Keyes.
What about you? Agree? Disagree? Connected?