Happy Holidays All
Here in the US it is the holiday season, starting in November with Thanksgiving, which officially opens the SHOPPING SEASON for Christmas. Although I enjoy the lights, decorations and sentiment of peace, love and togetherness, I'm not fond of the shopping mandate, the advertising that implies (and many times outright states) that the LOVE a person receives is dependent upon the price of the gift giving.
Color me a scrooge; I don't need all that advertising - as in constant e-mail spam - to remind me I'm broke. I'll give gifts when I feel like it, which is birthdays and whenever I see something that I think someone I care about would like to have.
I caved into the shopping spirit this year, and have already got a good portion of my list completed. I've even been thinking of buying a four foot tree for the Cat to enjoy. Its early, we'll see about that one. My favorite thing about Christmas is the stockings. I love collecting items to stuff them with on Christmas Eve. Candy, lottery tickets, iTunes/Google Play gift cards, miniature cars and action figures. And of course a book or two for those who love a good read to cozy up to.
E-readers and tablets are making that book stuffing a bit more difficult; the generic Amazon or B&N gift card just isn't the same as picking out a specific book title. Unless the person I'm giving a book to is as difficult to buy a book for as I am. My grand daughter (11) is an avid reader, and she loves the feel of a paper book, but already she is proving difficult to buy a book to her tastes. Today she is into faeries and dragons, tomorrow she might prefer Greek Gods, and then there's the Monster High or zombie books she'll sprinkle into the mix. Like me, she needs to be staring at the book titles and covers before making a final decision about what to read.
Today is the first Wednesday of the month, and for my INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP contribution I'd like to admonish all my author friends to remember their target audience. THE STRANGER READERS, not the fellow authors or critique partners that consistently view the working manuscript before its final publication. Yes, do listen to your crit partners and those you trust to give you honest feedback.
As a frequent critique partner and beta reader, I am often reminded that writers have a tendency to want to please their writing groups as much as their target readers. I am guilty of this fallacy myself. Too often when starting a project, I think of what my critique partners would like to read in the story I'm producing, and I forget that my friends/co-authors are not the purchasing audience I want to entice with the publication. Admittedly, writers are also readers; but I have noticed (for me anyway) that being a part of a story's creation can remove the wonder of discovery that makes that stranger reader so important..
Congratulations to all the NaNoWriMo participants that completed their commitment; and for those that started and did not finish, kudos for the attempt. Keep at it, some people write slower than others, but the revision process is in all our future stories.
Be sure to visit the IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts this month: Sandra Hoover, Mark Koopmans, Doreen McGettigan, Megan Morgan, and Melodie Campbell. For more IWSG posts, and to add your own link if you are not already a participant, visit the IWSG sign up list.