My husband is on many people’s mailing lists. A recent message from oprah.com
about Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage sent him to the author’s website
, where he followed a link to a TED talk with Liz on the creative process.
He was hooked despite having rolled his eyes as I (and many other females of all ages) had consumed Eat, Pray, Love as if it were sacred. He and our other male companion went to the beach in Italy while my friend KC and I spent a day traveling to Naples to eat the revered pizza of the “Eat” section.
I knew Elizabeth Gilbert had written a new book, but I also learned from her website that she was going to be in DC today to talk about that book, which came out on my birthday. For a mere $24 each, six of us received a copy of the book and a ticket to hear her speak at the 6th & I Synagogue tonight.
We showed up to a capacity crowd, in which 98% were females. I was happy to be in a delegation that was 50-50.
She read us the opening chapter, in which the Brazilian man from the “Love” section and she were convinced of the need to get married by Tom of Homeland Security. From what she read, the new book has that same story-telling quality with lots of humor and raw emotion that made her earlier book such a joy to read.
One of the questions was from a young aspiring writer, asking her advice on breaking into a tough field today. Liz admitted that most of the magazines that used to publish fiction are now out of business. But she did give the young author some advice that applies equally to anyone writing for public consumption.
She said it’s important to figure out exactly who you are writing for, who your audience is. I started thinking about that in terms of how it applies to what I write here. Because I do have a fairly good idea of my regular followers who read (even occasionally), I steer clear of some subjects, try not to say negative things about anyone who might be reading, and attempt to limit my use of 4-letter words.
But in the world of Blogging, an audience is a moving target. Only a small fraction of those who read on any day leave any record of their presence. They are mostly strangers who will remain just that.
It made me wonder what those collective faces from just one day would look like. Would they be 98% female? Would they be my generation? Would they like what they read? Does it really matter?
For now I'll have to content myself with reading my newly autographed copy of Committed. I told her we went all the way to Naples to eat pizza at her recommendation and she gave me a thumbs up.