Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Audience of One

Most writers (myself included) dream of having a large audience reading one's work, and hopefully being impacted by it in some way. But at the end of the day, it is possible to impact the world with just one reader. I know this blog doesn't get a lot of followers and my novel hasn't sold a lot of copies, and my next novel probably won't either, but I am incredibly thankful to each and every person who has used some of his or her precious time on this earth to read something I have written. I hope it was worth it!

Every creative effort makes an impact on the world. If we bring the best we have to our efforts, that is all we can do. The rest is really out of our control. God will use our work as He wills, and we may never know how something we said or did changed someone's life.

Kris Radish wrote an article for the July/ August issue of Writer's Digest, "An Audience of One." Radish tells of a booksigning where there was only one person in the audience. She sat with the woman and talked about her novel and her life and then asked about her life:

"A year ago I was homeless and living behind the bookstore," she told me. "I was a drug user and I watched people coming into the bookstore and authors, just like you, and one day I told myself that I would get straight and come back and sit here like this."

I took her hands and held them as she cried and told me how this moment, me taking time to sit with her, was the most remarkable think that had ever happened to her. I cried too as she told me about her new life plans.

Because she left her ego at the door, Radish was able to make a profound difference in that woman's life, and that woman left a lasting imprint on her as well. Each interaction matters. An audience of one. Sometimes that is all we need.


  1. Great blog and a good reminder for all writers that having a genuine impact on people should be valued more than popularity!

  2. Hi Anne:

    Lovely post. As a writer who, among other things, also writes fiction with a Catholic bent, I know that those of us who write about moral and faith issues, won't have as wide an audience as someone who writes A Fifty Shades of Grey-type book, but that is fine with me. That's not who I am.

    When a reader tells me that my writing has made them cry or laugh, that can be as rewarding as a huge check.

    While I would like to be wildly successful and rich from writing, that is out of my hands.

    One thing that has heartened me in my journey as a writer is a scripture passage I stumbled upon in Proverbs 16:3--Give your work to God, and your plans will be successful.

    That passage has really freed me of fretting over how well my works are received. I just do my best and let God do the rest.

    P.S. My first novel is coming out this month. Ironically, it's called St. Anne's Day, and I'd love for you to read it. I'm releasing it on the Feast of St. Anne, July 26! Let me know if you are interested.

    1. Hi Janice,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and, yes, I would love to read your book! If you would like to email me at, we can work out how to make that happen.

      Thank you!