There is a moment, when you say to yourself, “Oh, there you are.” When you see something, something so poetic and true it pretty much sums up all your feelings or, your life. Sometimes, it feels as if you were looking for that certain thing forever. That certain spark caused by a few words, can be life changing. A wise writer once wrote about the relationship between the writer and the reader. The two people sort of have this relationship (in my case, a love and hate relationship), this unspoken contract that binds them together. Like many well-functioning relationships, two people have to put in an effort to make it work, to have a healthy relationship at least. And like a contract (you sort of signed up for that when you started reading), you owe it to each other to follow through on your commitment. For those of you who aren’t sure what your commitment is, I’ll explain it as thoroughly as I can. A reader’s job is to simply read. To understand what the author is trying to tell you. To break the contract, it would mean doing things like, getting distracted or simply skimming through the pages without grasping the aspect of the novel. Of course, it’s understandable that sometimes getting distracted cannot be helped. But it is our job, as the reader, to make sure whatever is being written down, is being understood. In the most innocent sense of the phrase, to be read. There is no greater feeling than feeling important, feeling worthy. To have something you have written understood, comprehended, it gives you the greatest feeling of self-worth you could ever imagine. Now, the writer’s job can be simple or difficult, it really just depends on how you look at it. To find enough organization in your mind to complete a full story is no easy task. If you’re like me, you have about a dozen thoughts running through your head all at once. Every single thing I do, see, say and feel, it all has potential to become something more. It’s as if every single thing I touch, I make a small sentence in my head describing what it felt like to touch it, what it reminded me of when I saw it, just millions and millions of combinations that I cannot even fathom into words. A writer’s job is to take all those emotions, all those experiences and combinations and put them into words. Which is fairly difficult if you want to do it right. A writer’s job is to keep the story interesting, to keep the reader lost in the world they’ve created or re-created. A way to break the contract between writer and reader on fault of the writer is, to leave the reader pondering. Pondering may or may not be a good thing, that’s whats difficult about writing. For example, in John Green’s book “The Fault In Our Stars” the main character re-reads the same book. Yes, this is a fictional book inside a fictional book. Anyway, the book ends in the middle of a sentence. In the fictional book, the character dies in the middle of her life, therefore, the book ends in the middle of a sentence. So the character in the actual fictional book is left to wonder how the story ends. The novel ends with every problem unresolved. The fictional writer in the fictional book that is read by a character in the actual fictional book, has left the reader pondering. Therefore he has sort of broken his writer-to-reader contract. Good things did come out of his contract breaking though, the character in the actual fictional book spent her entire life making up what happened at the end of her favorite story. It made her think, made her imagination vast and wonderful. But, the writer also left her wondering what actually happened, because, we can imagine all the things we want about something we’ve read or seen. But the choice is never truly the reader’s, it’s the writer’s. As you can see, simply reading and understanding are two very different things. And writing and writing correctly are two different things. Maybe I’m not at the level that great authors are today, but I know that one day, my contract as a writer will not be broken. I know how I’ve felt when I’m reading and the contact gets broken, a sinking feeling of emptiness fills you. So, don’t break the contract; it’s serious business.
“Sometimes you read a book and it fills you with this weird, evangelical zeal and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless all living humans read the book.” -John Green
By: Raquel Medina