Seeking an audience with you

A Writer’s invitation

IT feels very exciting, asking you on board, but also a little nerve-wracking. This is new territory for me as much as it is for you, I imagine. You’ll have to tell me.

“The most amazing communication tool created since the human head.”

A politician once told me that there is no use campaigning in an election without asking for people to vote for you. It sounds a bit obvious, I agree, but I watched her ask, assertively, for people’s faith at the ballot box, whereas all her opponents took us for granted.

So, I have come to the point of asking. Inviting. Enticing. Welcoming. There are as many words for it as there are reasons for my asking, but let’s leave it at this: the world has changed, and writers can no longer rely on our very best words alone.

New tools have come to dominate the writers’ domain – the internet, mainly – which I’ve decided is the most amazing communication tool created since the human head.

Humans have always been moved to wonder by things we now take completely for granted. In 1895, a whole crowd of people got up and moved to the side of a cinema when they were shown footage of a steam train coming towards the camera, because they were so innocent about what they were seeing.

I sometimes imagine what a person from the past would do if we could bring them into our era and show them a website.

They might freak out at seeing people communicating on Facebook, but they would be amazed, surely. The endless opportunities for communicating and networking, forming relationships and connections, being entertained and distracted.

I imagine they would see the social media as a kind of nirvana. Either that, or they’d laugh at us for getting ourselves trapped in something so trivial.

Somewhere between those two extremes, I exist as a writer. I have recorded my stories for the past thirty years, and, if I am still alive in three decades, I’ll be writing.

I have written about some of the world’s greatest minds and the impact they have on our lives. I have written about the best things that ever happened to me, and the almost indescribable, worst times of my life.

My stories strive for hope, forgiveness and understanding.

I have written words that can be read, and words than can be heard, and watched.

The world has changed … and I find myself at a crossroads about my writing – not about the doing, but about that part of my writing where you come in – the experiencing.

I am embarking on a new journey today. Where I’m heading, exactly, I am not 100 per cent sure, but I know it will involve opportunities for you to read my work.

It will also involve chances for you to hear my work, and, if I am courageous enough, to watch my work.

I have other skills than writing, which I have picked up along the way, you see.

And this invention, the internet, is allowing me to share it all with you, although some of what I am planning will take place completely offline.

Please follow me, closely or at a distance. Tell your friends who might like reading, and listening, and watching, stories that take them beyond their own lives.

It’s going to be life enlarging, for all of us.

© Michael Burge, all rights reserved.

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