The Role of the Reader – Part 2

Yes, I’m into sequels these days. Actually, I have to thank the local writer who hates my guts for this one. I peeked in on her blog the other day – for which I’m sure I’ll now be referred to as a stalker again.  Of course, in order for her to refer to me like that, she’ll have to acknowledge that this means she reads my blog as well.

Hmmm –

Anyway – let me fill in a bit of detail first. One of my ICL students wrote to me a while ago and said she liked reading my blogs.  She said she felt she got to know more about me, but she also learned somethings from me. My initial reaction was enthusiasm, but then I got a little bit concerned.  I immediately checked the blogs I’ve written because this student is a teen-ager.

That was the first time I’d had that happen, but in recent weeks it has happened a few more times and not just with my ICL students. A young woman who was a friend of my youngest daughter said she had read my book, looked me up on the internet, found my web site, then found my blog. I wasn’t as nervous with these most recent discoveries. I haven’t ever put anything in my blog that I’d be embarrassed to have my kids or their friends read. I do that on purpose because I write for kids. I can imagine having written something that involved sex, alcohol, battery-operated adult toys, or use of illegal substances on there when some of my readers discovered it, and then having his or her parent walk into the room just in time to see what I’d said.

Nice way to make your name in publishing. Therefore, I leave it out. Besides, those subjects are no one else’s business. For as public as it may appear that I am, there is a tremendous amount of information that doesn’t get put on here because of privacy.

Interestingly, the LWWHMG doesn’t feel that same obligation, even though she professes to writing for kids. A recent blog included a topic that was – quite frankly – TMI on all levels. And simply for having said this, no doubt I’ll be lambasted. It’s okay. I’m used to it now – and fairly immune.

The thing is, kids are exposed to so much junk in the world that I guess I figure they don’t need it in my books or my blog. This is not me being prudish or Puritanical by any means. I’m certainly not naive enough to believe I’m somehow protecting them or saving them, and I absolutely don’t see those as part of my objectives. I guess I just figure they deserve a break.

The best analogy I could use is music. I love music. I love all kinds of music; though, oddly enough, I really like heavy metal. I can listen to Metallica, Alice in Chains, Hollywood Undead, Flyleaf, and bands in this genre for hours on end. Sometimes I’m not even aware I’ve been listening for hours as I’m working. But sometimes, it’s nice to listen to B.B. King, or Joe Bonamassa, or Vivaldi, or Kitaro. And sometimes it’s nice just to have quiet.

I don’t write this blog with kid readers in mind. I haven’t changed how I write just because I’m now aware that kids are reading it. I simply don’t need to be in anyone’s face over things that are unimportant and uninteresting to anyone but me and those I chose to share them with. If I’m all that interested in someone else’s sex life, I’ll watch HBO; that’s certainly not why I follow the blogs I follow. And obviously, that’s not why anyone reads mine.

I guess I consider the reader a bit before I write a blog, out of respect for his or her intelligence. I’ve been rewarded with thoughtful readers who post insightful comments and with whom I have a dialog that I enjoy and appreciate.

Thanks to you all.

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2 thoughts on “The Role of the Reader – Part 2

  1. drtombibey says:

    Kim,

    As always I see it the way you do. The world is full of mean spirted people, and I’d rather avoid them. That might cost me a better blog rank or book sales, but I am unconcerned. I write to try and find the tens of thousands of folks who are interested in a life of grace and dignity rather than the hundreds of thousands who aren’t. If I wanted to numb my mind I’d watch reality T.V. (I don’t)

    Dr. B

  2. Kim Justesen says:

    Dr. B –

    Great minds think alike, I guess. Not sure what that says about us.

    Hope all is going well with you and your book deal. I’m excited to finally have a copy of that in my hands!

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