Literature is a two-way street. A writer has every right to expect a reader’s full attention, and a reader has every right to expect a writer’s best effort. An intelligent reader knows when a writer is merely talking at him. An intelligent writer, on the other hand, can’t always know where a reader stands, at least not immediately. The only thing he has to go by is the reader’s outward response. This includes buying or not buying the writer’s books, telling or not telling others about the writer and his work, and making comments to the writer in person or in a letter. Whatever happens, the best thing a writer can do is to remember his responsibility to the reader and continue trying to improve. He does this by working hard, and by being his own reader and harshest critic. The writer must also remember his responsibility to himself. He must remember that what he is doing is supposed to be meaningful and fun. Writing is physically and mentally demanding work. But if it isn’t meaningful and fun, either the writer is going about it the wrong way, or he should be doing something else. The same can be said, of course, for any occupation. In a sense, we are all writers and readers of daily life and society. How we approach the way we live, how we meet and talk with each other when we are in public, and how we treat our friends and family form a telling, lasting comment about the kind of people we are. If we succumb to advertising, if we embrace rude behavior, if we accept the inevitability of hunger and war, if we allow someone else to make decisions we should make, if we forget how to laugh, we are trading in our dignity and humanity. And if we do that, reading and writing aren’t likely to make much difference, just as education doesn’t solve man’s fundamental, psychological problems. Fortunately, there are enough genuine readers and writers to keep literature alive. As long as there are men and women willing to wrestle their thoughts into written form, and as long as there are people willing to listen and to make known their agreement or disapproval, the ancient and rewarding tradition of literature will continue.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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