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I can't get over the fact that the brick in the image accompanying this story misspelled "wander."

When we write, we own "the story" only as long as it is not published. Upon publication, it is no longer ours - it is the readers', as well.

Having said that, I think those who pursue readership, followers or whatever they're called, write to the lowest common denominator. Those writers never own the story; they can barely claim to know the words they put into the aether!

Chasing readership is a surefire way to gain readers and lose your voice. You end up writing for them, and subsuming yourself. Think of the music a musician would produce if he or she wrote so it would appeal to the mass, and only the mass? Somehow, I think Frank Zappa, The Flaming Lips or even Jethro Tull would not sit well with an audience that demanded such a low level of curiosity, or talent. (Quickly: whom is the more important, Michael Jackson, or Robert McNamara? George Gershwin or Thomas Kinkade?)

Within the commercial world, I would venture that you never want to "own" your story. Such would imply a level of control over your readers that would be at best impossible, and at worst disastrous. Honest retelling is probably the closest any commercial enterprise could get to owning a story.

And yes - far too many outsource their thinking to others. I see it within the subculture I inhabit; I dare say others see it in the segments of the world they occupy. It is, after all, easier to agree with a supposition than to figure out its virtues or failings for yourself. (Sorry, I'm feeling a little cynical, right now. It's the result of an argument I recently had.)

Wonderful questions, Valeria. :-)

Carolyn Ann

I had no idea that Itex existed. Win. Thanks for sharing that resource with me Valeria.

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