We’ve all heard big talkers include every detail and ramble, making their listeners work too hard. And we’ve all heard good storytellers, who make you eager to hear the next word.
Writers feel the presence of their readers.
If you’re already an easy talker, you may find that it’s not as easy to write–but you’re still half-way there. You may need to talk into a tape recorder and pull out the best parts when you listen to your recording.
If you’re shy in person, you may find that speaking to invisible readers frees you up. It sometimes helps to imagine one particular reader–an author you admire, a high-school English teacher, a loved one who has passed away, or your own grandchild grown up.
When I kept a diary as a child, I was conscious that I was writing for my future self. I even wrote, “Someday you will be grownup reading this and know what you like when you were child.”
Today, I don’t think of my future self when I write. I think of various readers in my life, and I remember the voices of other writers.
Your readers are out there, if you can feel them. Feeling your readers doesn’t mean you expect your book to be a best-seller. It means you are paying close attention to the power of words.