May 5 question – Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?
It’s now May 5th which means Cinco De Mayo and IWSG Day at the same time! Yay.
As someone who writes both fiction and non-fiction, including spiritual and religious stuff, this question brings up some interesting memories, some really bad, some really good. Once upon a time, it used to surprise me when someone read my words and responded in some entirely unexpected way. Now, I’m pretty much used to it, used to the unexpected, I suppose.
I tend to view all writing as a conversation, conversations with authors I’ve read and conversations with people who choose to read me. In any conversation, you never know what the “other side” will say, if anything.
The only thing that really bothers, but unfortunately does not surprise me, is the person who says something like, I know, and that is why I’m against red-headed people. Not a real example, but not far off from real responses.
I’m never really surprised by that anymore. After the umpteenth time someone misreads you in keeping with some clear agenda, you get used to it.
On the other hand, sometimes someone says something really beautiful that does give me a wow moment. Surprise might be a good word for that, when someone wows you with something beautiful and adds their own spin. For example, you might write an abstract poem about a bicycle and you don’t even know what it was about, but the image speaks to you somehow. Someone else might read it and share how it reminds them of their terrible childhood (oh no) but then they went on to live a healthy life (oh good). What you wrote speaks deeply, affirming their sense of self-worth. And you think, wow. I wish I wrote the poem they think I wrote on purpose. Maybe, deep down, I did mean that.
I love those moments. It’s like a little sip of eternity.
What about you? Have you ever been surprised by someone’s reaction to what you wrote or said, in a good way?