Writers Are Vulnerable

In Essay by Sandra Fluck

Writers are vulnerable. Think how their words can be picked apart by an interpretation that doesn’t match the work itself; how they adopt a persona to protect an even more vulnerable internality. If writers do unmask themselves, they hope at least for reciprocity between themselves and their readers, a receptiveness that “thinks with” writers, not against them.

What is the act of writing but a “giving away,” and the act of reading an interpretation of this “giving to”? Yes, writers can’t expect everyone to agree with them, but if they receive a close reading from a modicum of readers, they gratefully listen with openness. They hope that readers (and critics) will practice a close reading of the work, attending to the context and the implications, the language itself, and come to terms with the work’s meaning to minimize misrepresentations and misunderstandings.

Discourse between writers and readers must attend to the needs of both. It is, by necessity, a discourse in which the conversations and comments are relevant to the work itself: What it says, what it does, how it affects, how it creates. This is not an easy thing to do—ensuring an understanding of consequence between writer and reader. Sometimes it takes two or three readings to bridge the gap.

Ethics are involved in this dance between writers and readers—a reciprocity in the intrinsic vulnerability of creating.

About the Author

Sandra Fluck

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Writer, poet, and educator, Sandra Fluck graduated from U.C.L.A. with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English Literature. She also has a Master of Arts (Religion) from the Lancaster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. She has taught English Literature, Creative Writing, English Composition, and Technical Writing in colleges in California and Pennsylvania. Sandra is the creative force behind bookscover2cover and The Write Launch.