Hello everyone and welcome to Writer’s Quote Wednesday! A weekly event hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading where bloggers share their favorite quote to inspire and motivate us all to keep working towards our goals. My contribution this week is from Mohsin Hamid.
Hamid, born in 1971 in Lahore, is a Pakistani novelist and writer. He has written three novels: Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and a book of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations.
His short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, and the Paris Review, and his essays in the Guardian, the New York Times, and the New York Review of Books.
His writing has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, selected as winner or finalist of twenty awards, and translated into thirty-five languages.
He has lived about half his life, on and off, in Lahore and much of the rest in London, New York, and California. He attended Princeton and Harvard, and worked for a decade as a management consultant in New York and London, mostly part-time.
“Readers don’t work for writers. They work for themselves.”
— Mohsin Hamid
As writers we want readers to find us on their own and we want them to love everything we do because we are just that awesome. Unfortunately, that’s not how any of this works. They will not find you, you have to find them first. They may not like what you write, you have to listen and get better. And they may not take away from you exactly what you were offering, so you have to learn to be clear.
Readers have their own motivations. Each one comes with a different agenda. Writing often reminds me of working in customer service, or being a public servant. Our work requires us to listen more than we’d like and to take criticism graciously.
Readers want what they want and try as you might you can never get them to want something else. Half the time they think they know what they want but they don’t. It can be hard to keep up. The best you can hope for to to offer them something they didn’t know they wanted until you came along. To do that you have to keep writing until you get it right.
And you have to accept that the reader will probably never do what you want, or even expect, them to do.
Original image for quote via Pixabay