You might not know this but I think about you a lot. Sometimes when I’m in the shower, other times while making dinner or walking my kids to school. I think about you when I read a book someone else wrote, often wondering if you love them more than me. It hurts to think you might, but I know you have more love to share than one writer could possibly use. You know, I think about you even when I’m cleaning up dog shit from the various corners of my house. You’re in my thoughts whether I’m awake or asleep, but not in a stalker, going to knife you in your sleep sort of way. No Reader, I am not that kind of crazy.
There is only one time that I don’t think about you, Reader, one time that I can’t: when I’m writing. You see, if I think about you while I write, I’ll never get a single word on the page. I can’t afford to think about you when I’m in that space, and I hope you understand.
You’re distracting and stressful, to be honest. It’s like I can feel you breathing on my neck, and that is really annoying, although it’s not your fault. You can’t help but be what you are, Reader, and I’d never change you for anything or anyone. After all, you’re quite important to me. I want your journey through my books to be perfect, exquisite even. I want you to love my characters, race through my stories, and reach The End with a solid, comfortable feeling of satisfaction. I don’t want you to feel cheated or bored, and I certainly don’t want you to think writing is easy. On the other hand, I want it to feel as though it was effortless when you read it. I don’t need you to love me, but I need you to adore the soul I bare to you. I don’t need you to know me, but I need you to remember my story. You don’t have to recall my name even, just recognize my voice when it speaks to you on the page. I’ll probably never learn your name, but I will know all of your secrets.
No, Reader, I never make any sense. Yet, you still try to figure me out. I’m writing to explain our complicated relationship, so that you stop trying to sneak into my writing zone. If you’re in there with me, then I think about all of those things I want to do for you with our story. When I think about all I need to do for you, I get all nervous and shit, and then I start thinking I can’t possibly make you happy. It’s downhill from there. Paralyzing really.
So I lock the door and make you wait outside with the rest of them. I know you don’t like it, and my tendency to hermit myself away for days on end is confusing, particularly when it’s obvious I’m a chatty sort of gal. Once I’m done, though, I emerge desperate for your attention, needing you to love what I’ve made as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope you’ll wait for me. It’d be tragic if I had to go back to the booze and the crying. No one enjoyed those days.