Accompanying the Writer

Hello SE friends. Gwen with you today. You might recall that my last several posts focused on typology and how our unique nature affects our writing style. Whether we’re analytical or fanciful, detailed or vague, or have an introspective or other-centered outlook, our fundamental way of approaching life is present in how we write. This fact leads to another consideration. Does our typology guide what or how we read?

It seems only logical that we’d be drawn to those books that resonate with our nature. If we’re more extroverted, for example, wouldn’t we gravitate to a book with a lot of action or engagement? Perhaps a passionate romance or a fast-paced thriller? Maybe …

When I investigated buying patterns, though, I discovered something I hadn’t realized. Indie writers publish around two million books each year. The reading choices are endless, and with just a simple visit to Amazon, a book can be on our Kindle in seconds. So what do we read?

It turns out that most of us buy and read books within our Indie communities. We follow blogs and join online book clubs. We create friendships, and we read books that these friends have written. Our communities are more determinant of what we read than the type of book we might be most drawn to. When a friend has a New Release, we often add it to our Kindle as a way of showing support. Through this simple gesture, most of us have broadened our reading parameters and perhaps discovered something unexpected. I’ll explain. 

A few years ago, as I was reading a book by a club friend, something occurred that changed how I read. About a fourth of the way through the book, I suddenly became aware of the writer. It was just a simple sentence. Nothing profound. Nothing quotable. But the sentence drew me to the writer. I glimpsed his motivation, his reason for writing, and then wanted to know more.

Independent of the genre, I now read in search of the writer. A book becomes especially captivating for me when I find the author. The stories may be eye-opening and heart-racing, but the writer, the person who spent months creating the tome, is my ultimate interest. I want to know him or her. I want to understand why the author wrote the book. Who is this person who cared so much about the topic that he or she willingly dedicated every free moment to giving it birth?

An example. I dislike horror – immensely. And yet, I’ve read a few books in that genre because of a friend. I read to support her. There were parts of her books that I could not read, but once I met my friend in the pages of the book, the experience changed for me. It wasn’t just horror. I saw the writer’s courage, her deep sense of good and evil. I felt her urgency, her need to tell the world. And once I did, I walked with her.

When you read, do you look for the writer? I’m thinking that perhaps this phenomenon, of how we read, is tied to typology. I’m a feeler, an empath. I naturally go the extra mile for a friend. Maybe this is unique to me, or maybe it is tied to my INFP typology. Either way, I’d love to know if you find yourself journeying with the writer as you read.

I’ve written a poem to try to explain my process. I hope you like it.  

Thank you for joining me today. Happy reading and writing, till next time . . .

95 thoughts on “Accompanying the Writer

  1. Pingback: A 2-day Chapter – Judi Lynn

  2. When I was in grade school ( stone age) my mother when to the counselor all concerned about my grades that required reading. Yet my grades in history were always great. There was a simple explanation. I was reading what I enjoyed and the rest really didn’t matter. Ironically now I read all kinds of things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. One of my sons failed a class that I thought impossible to fail — choosing a profession. Then I discovered that he was bored with the subject and just didn’t go to class. Like you, he excelled in what he was interested in. It takes time, doesn’t it, for us to spread our wings in terms of reading interests. Thank you again. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve found many wonderful books outside of my usual genres because of supporting author friends. I am always happy to do that and broaden my reading horizons. That said, there are certain genres I just can’t read and certain topics I avoid. I think most of my writer friends know the lines I have a hard time crossing as a reader. I also have genres I naturally gravitate toward and favor. I also read a lot of non-indie books, but at the rate I devour novels, I have huge collections of both! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mae. Like you, I read broadly, especially over these last years. What an amazing community we belong to — friends through the written word. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: From Story Empire [Accompanying the Writer] #Author’sCorner #SocialMediaMonday #Tip – PattysWorld

  5. So sorry I am late to this party, but I love this post, Gwen. I think it’s a great reminder to us as authors that our readers want to connect with us, and not just our characters and stories. I tend to read a diverse range of genres, but as your example pointed out if I know the author even distantly, I may read a genre that I wouldn’t normally gravitate to. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning Felecia I too have lost touch with some who’s books I continue reading. In one incidence, this losing touch was because the person and I no longer got on together but their writing continued resonating with me.

      This I must say is a weird experience to be able to enjoy someone’s fiction but not their reality.

      Has anyone ever experienced this?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful poem, Gwen. Just stunning. And I can relate. I used to read only fantasy and sci-fi. But I wanted to honor our indie community, honor all the hard work, and give back the kindness I’ve received. I now read a wide variety of genres, including romance (which I never cared for). I’ve discovered that I love historical fiction and that romance isn’t all that bad! I’m frequently aware of the author and all the hard work that went into his or her creation. A lovely post. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello everyone.

      I wonder if maybe the poem text could simply be copied into the comments? I’d at least like to know what it says.

      As to reading multiple genres I think Roland from Stephen King’s Dark Tower put it best when he asked, “Do most people from your world only take one flavor at a time? Does no one eat stew?”

      If Roland could see an anthology which featured multiple themes I think he would be most happy. LOL.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Patty, I’m traveling, so I’m late to get back to you. My apologies. Here’s the poem. I hope you like it. Blessings.

        THE AUTHOR
        I search for you,
        Writer unknown,
        Each page a port of departure.
        Through dreams you disclose,
        I wander.

        A word laid bare,
        A phrase that lingers,
        A plot that captures or awakens,
        Your footsteps stealth on paper trails,
        The scent of you,
        I savor.

        The web you spin,
        Entraps and cradles,
        While entangled characters wrestle.
        Through the give and take of life and love,
        The glimpses of you,
        I follow.

        At last, I see,
        My muse, my tease,
        Behind the hes and shes you’ve crafted,
        An elusive warrior or tender lover—the storyteller,
        YOU, now revealed
        I honor.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Very wonderful. I read in one of the dark tower series books a quote that describes a complete wonderful reaction to a book and it fits here for this poem “ The ecstasy of recognition “that is what this poem says the ecstasy of recognition. That is wonderful.

        Get Outlook for iOS ________________________________

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thought provoking and fascinating, Gwen. After Indie publishing my first book I knew nothing about blogs until Judith Barrow posted something of mine on hers. Through that, I came across Marcia Meara and then Sally Cronin. Since then, I’ve ‘met’ many kind and generous authors in these blogs and made some good friends. I, too, mainly buy and read books from this pool of talent and I’ve discovered I like all kinds of genres if they’re well written. I’m also frustrated that this very real talent doesn’t reach the wider audience it deserves. Love the poem, Gwen x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Alex. You’ve mentioned some of my favorite people in the world. I’m late to blogging as well, but I came to love through your friends and now many others. Thank you for your kind comments. I’m so happy you enjoyed the poem. 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You gave me chills, Gwen. Love that you search for the writer within the pages. I “feel it” when I come across an especially deep passage, but I’ve never intentionally searched. Now, I will. Thank you, Gwen!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great point. It does remind me of studying literature, because, of course, you looked for specific characteristics and the style of writers, and often tried to link it to their biography or likes and dislikes in some way, and I guess we do the same, perhaps without thinking about it, when we read books by people we “know”, even if it is not “personally”. I review for a team of reviewers, and that has also made me explore genres I don’t usually read (I do like horror, though, but I’ve never felt inclined to write in that genre). Thanks, Gwen.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Thank you for the enjoyable article. After reading it I felt like an outsider, a remnant of times long past. In addition, I live in a bubble surrounded by ignorance and most of my“friends” do not read anymore. It was one of the reasons why I started my blog, at least I could talk to someone about writing. Anyway, I grew up after the war and I was taught to read through the periods. Starting with the Greeks, the classics, the romantics, the existentialists and the post-war realists and I am still catching up. The question of preference never occurred to me, I am always looking for something that answers my questions. However, if the author is lacking in the ability to use words creatively I lose interest, no matter how well know or important the work is perceived.
    Of course, I am also ‘drawn to those books that resonate with my nature, and I am interested in the author’s character, but that was never a question. And finally, I also dislike horror, not because of the horror, such writing simply bores me!
    Greetings and yes I like your poem

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Reblogged this on PTL Perrin Writes… and commented:

    Gwen hit the nail on the head with this insightful article. Until she said it, I didn’t realize that I also look for the author and tend to purchase books to support my writer friends. How about you? (And do yourself a favor and read her poem. You’ll certainly find Gwen there!)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Pingback: #ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire | The Write Stuff

  13. Your blogs are making me think too much:) I do read books I’d never read because a friend wrote them, but I read others because they’re “my” type of books. I’m not sure I can always see an author in the books they write. Sometimes, but not always. It makes me think that when I read some of my darker things to my writers’ group, there are people who say, “You seem so nice and normal.” I wonder what they see about me in those stories:)

    Liked by 4 people

    • Lols, Judi. I wonder what prevents people from seeing that we all have imaginations that are not all about who we are. Do those same people judge themselves after a particularly nasty nightmare, I wonder?! I say, you keep on writing and reading what you love. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • When I stumble upon the writer, it’s usually through a comment, something personal, that opens my heart. Their imagination can fascinate me, but it isn’t what draws me to them. I don’t like horror because I’ve known enough in my life, but that said, when I read my friend’s books and glimpsed her, I truly walked with her. She remains someone I hold with immense respect. Thank you so much, Judi. 💗

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I was nodding my head as I read this, Gwen. Since I started indie reading, and developing friendships with authors, I’ve been finding the same thing. I get to know them even more reading their books. I was always drawn to the entertainment factor of reading, but found a new level and expanded what I read. The best part is I’ve never enjoyed reading more. I loved this post and your insightful poem, Gwen!

    Liked by 4 people

  15. I love this post and your poem. I’ve never thought of it like this before, but I can relate. I, too, am an empath, and I find that I want to create friendships with certain authors because I connect with something they write. I gravitate toward them and want them in my circle. Great post, Gwen! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  16. A beautiful poem, Gwen. I haven’t given much thought to search for the author. It does make sense, and I think done more on an unconscious level. Not being an empath, I do think you made a good point about supporting the authors that we know and like. It does pull us away from our comfort zone within genres, and that is a good thing. A terrific post today.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. Interesting post. It makes me think in reverse. I have two titles that probably have more of me inside them. Most of my reading is authored by friends these days. I have a few things I’d like to check out beyond those borders, but there are only so many hours in the day.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Craig. It’s amazing how different we all are, how we criss-cross the planet, and yet somehow we find each other through writing. We “know” one another, but only through the imaginings of our hearts. Pretty incredible. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  18. Hi, I totally enjoyed this post, but somehow I am unable to find the poem.
    Is it the graphic after the main text? If so it’s unreadable for my screen reader.
    I was just readying to reblog this as my tip for the week but if it’s not accessible I won’t be able to do so.
    Am I missing something?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Patty. I’m so sorry the poem is not visible. It is embedded in an image (.jpg) and perhaps the reader does not recognize photos. I’ll see if I can send it to you via Twitter. 💗

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well, we just had a post on adding alt text here so I’m kind of shocked that this post doesn’t include that in the poetic pic. It would’ve been easily done.

        No, just as with photos the screen reader does not read that without the alt text in place.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Speaking for myself, I try to use alt text on any images I use, but sometimes I do forget. We’re all subject to human imperfections, and of course, so many folks have lots of health and life issues to cope with. How wonderful of Gwen to offer to send the image by other means. So glad you enjoyed this lovely post, Patty 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • Hi, I just reread the comments. I’m not on Twitter much but I’ll make a point to go see.

        I’ve my Twitter set to automatically deal with most of my stuff so I hardly ever go there because for me it is rather clunky.

        Email is my best form of communication when reading something such as that.

        No worries, not a big deal. It was just a disappointment because I really wanted to use the post in my tips section due to the great info within but so many of my readers and followers use screen readers I couldn’t do it.

        Like

  19. Gwen, what a thought-provoking post and fascinating way to think about the reading process. I never thought about it this way, but now I can remember “looking for the author” in some books I read back before my indie days. Now, I tend to choose books by supportive members of the club I’m in, so I do read genres I avoided in the past. I still have my favorite genres, though, and read them regardless of the author.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Your poem was lovely, Gwen.

    I read a lot of books outside of my typical interest solely to support friends, and many times, like you said, I not only find I discover treasures I otherwise would have missed, I find I learn more about my author friends. I love that about those books. (But I still also read books I choose from authors I don’t know in my preferred genres. And I probably learn things about those authors, too.)

    This is a great series, Gwen. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much, Staci. I’m often humbled by the breadth and depth of writers. I’m in awe of their humanity, which inevitably brings me to a place of gratitude. Wish I had more time to spend reading – and writing! 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  21. I’ve always been one of those who will read almost anything, so I read across a wide variety of genres to start with. I’ll often make buying and reading a particular title more of a priority because it’s by a friend, but I read so many different genres that I’d likely want to read it even if I didn’t know anything about the author, it just might take me longer to get around to doing so.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Victoria. My poor Kindle bulges with books I want to read, and like you, I tend to pick friends first. There’s just not enough time in the day to read everything I’d love to read. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I’ve broadened my reading horizon because of books by author friends. Read genres that aren’t my favorite but I do to support the author. You’re right in that we sometimes discover hidden gems.

    That being said, I still have favorite genres that I like to read and therefore look for books in those genres – no matter who the author is. Often a writer will become one of my “auto buys.” There are also some genres that I won’t touch – no matter who the author is.

    Very thought-provoking post, Gwen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Joan, for adding to the conversation. I have favorite genres as well and writers whom I love to read. Prior to authoring my first book, I never would have imagined the world that awaited me. 😊

      Liked by 3 people

  23. I love your poem, Gwen.
    Like you, I read books of my online friends first. I met a young writer when I did a beta read for him. The book was fantasy, a genre I write in, but most of his books are horror. Like you, I don’t usually read horror, but I bought one of his books to support him. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, have read several more, and have given glowing reviews. Having said that, Although he classifies his books as horror, I would call those I’ve read as psychological thrillers. If I’d not been reading to support others, I’d not have found this talented young writer.
    I also read books by authors in the same publishing stable as myself, and have discovered so many wonderful writers, and also new genres. It’s often difficult, when searching for a new book, to decide what to read, so we tend to go for the same genre, or the same author, and consequently deprive ourselves of some great writing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for sharing your process, V.M. It’s quite the journey isn’t it? Our avocation has stretched our worlds and our hearts. We see differently because of friends we only know through words. How amazing! All the best to you. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  24. What a wonderful poem and process, Gwen. We show far more of ourselves in poetry than in fiction, but we’re still very much in there … just more deeply buried, and I love that you go digging for the hidden writer. A thought-provoking post. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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