What’s the best thing about writing to you, Dear Reader? Is it getting great comments on your blogs? Having people praise your prose? Achieving mind blowing stats or sales? Getting great reviews for your efforts, fiction or non?

For me, it’s meeting readers.

Because I work hard to maintain a reader community. Readers are a mirror, a reflection of who we are. They help me know myself, to better understand who I am.

In Australia, we drove from Melbourne to Bermagui to meet Laura Gillies. For geographical perspective, that’s like driving from Charleston to Nashville. Or Charleston to Philadelphia. Maybe even Charleston to Miami.

melbourne to bermagui

 

It was a long day in the car.

But I wanted to hug the Australian woman who connected with Meriwether Lewis. On a wet winter night, we met at an upstairs pub, and we wiled the night away over Australian wines and cheeses. Just like every person I’ve met from this community, it was like we’d known each other forever. She doesn’t know it, but she reshaped how I imagine a big upcoming thing, and I’ll be forever grateful for the difference her experience will make for everyone.

Whenever I find myself on the edge of the abyss, alone on a beach trying to comprehend the utter stupidity of trying to write, I always come back to why it matters.

Because YOU matter. Your stories. Your personalities. Your observations and comments. Even your critiques. Thank you, Laura, for coming out to meet me on a soggy night. And thank you, Dear Readers, for reading. Whether there are 100 of you or 1 million, you make me a better person than I could ever hope to be without you.

To meet Laura, you can follow her writing here: Reading for the Masses and here: The Chef and the Waitress

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