Skip to content

I’d Go Halfway Around the World to Meet a Reader

What’s the best thing about writing to you, Dear Reader? Is it getting great comments on your blogs? Having people praise your prose? Achieving mind blowing stats or sales? Getting great reviews for your efforts, fiction or non?

For me, it’s meeting readers.

Because I work hard to maintain a reader community. Readers are a mirror, a reflection of who we are. They help me know myself, to better understand who I am.

In Australia, we drove from Melbourne to Bermagui to meet Laura Gillies. For geographical perspective, that’s like driving from Charleston to Nashville. Or Charleston to Philadelphia. Maybe even Charleston to Miami.

melbourne to bermagui

 

It was a long day in the car.

But I wanted to hug the Australian woman who connected with Meriwether Lewis. On a wet winter night, we met at an upstairs pub, and we wiled the night away over Australian wines and cheeses. Just like every person I’ve met from this community, it was like we’d known each other forever. She doesn’t know it, but she reshaped how I imagine a big upcoming thing, and I’ll be forever grateful for the difference her experience will make for everyone.

Whenever I find myself on the edge of the abyss, alone on a beach trying to comprehend the utter stupidity of trying to write, I always come back to why it matters.

Because YOU matter. Your stories. Your personalities. Your observations and comments. Even your critiques. Thank you, Laura, for coming out to meet me on a soggy night. And thank you, Dear Readers, for reading. Whether there are 100 of you or 1 million, you make me a better person than I could ever hope to be without you.

To meet Laura, you can follow her writing here: Reading for the Masses and here: The Chef and the Waitress

58 Comments Post a comment
  1. Good thing we have our own little Pooh Corner here in Charleston to meet over tea and honey.

    June 16, 2014
  2. You weren’t eating Vegemite and drinking Fosters? For shame.

    June 16, 2014
  3. Amazing. I thought i was doing something leaving the island. *chills up spine*

    June 16, 2014
  4. How cool that you got to meet Laura! It doesn’t surprise me that you would drive that far to meet a reader. I admire that about you, Andra.

    June 16, 2014
  5. Kir Piccini #

    This? This is fantastic. I’m so glad you got this experience and this story to tuck inside your heart. 🙂

    June 16, 2014
    • It was worth it.

      June 16, 2014
      • Kir Piccini #

        Moments like that always are. 🙂

        June 16, 2014
  6. You always go the extra mile(s). Whether it’s hiking to promote your work, or meeting readers or just doing a kindness for others.

    June 16, 2014
    • I’m ready for a few days where I don’t have to go very far. 🙂

      June 16, 2014
      • You certainly been crossing a lot of the globe in the last few weeks

        June 16, 2014
  7. An open heart and an open mind often meet for affirmation. Gratitude is a most powerful thing.

    June 16, 2014
  8. I am always inspired by your gratitude, darling, and anytime I feel down you have a tendency to make me smile with moments like this. Thank you.

    June 16, 2014
    • Another important reason to write: We never know when someone will need exactly what we have to say.

      June 16, 2014
      • sometimes I forget that Andra, thanks for the reminder.

        June 22, 2014
  9. ❤ Love it!

    June 16, 2014
  10. how wonderful for both of you, andra. and you are right, it is what matters )

    June 16, 2014
  11. What a wonderful experience, Andra. I really your posts about meeting readers and it’s great to hear Laura is just as nice in person as I always imagined she would be from her blogs. 🙂

    June 16, 2014
  12. Without a doubt, for me, the best part of blogging is the conversations. I got to meet my first blog friend last month in NYC (El Guapo), and it was delightful. And of course I can’t wait to meet you and MTM in Charleston!

    Driving 8 hours to meet Laura was super cool of you, Andra. And I’m not surprised in the least.

    June 16, 2014
  13. So great that you too got to meet. I agree, meeting readers is what it’s all about 🙂

    June 16, 2014
  14. Being so greatful for your readers and riding eight hours to meet one of them, reflects your humble and unpretentious being, Andra…which makes it so easy to be a fan.

    June 16, 2014
    • It’ll be another decade before I’m anywhere close to that way again. 🙂

      June 16, 2014
  15. Sounds like you’re having a blast “down under”:)

    June 16, 2014
    • I had a blast down under, Roger. I am not having a blast in the LA airport on this day that will never end to get home. 🙂

      June 16, 2014
  16. This is the best meeting a reader story ever. I would now like to point out that the drive from Charleston to MA is only a mere 14 hours. I’m sure you would have a reader or two at the midway point. LOL

    June 16, 2014
    • I do have a few. That’s true. Rowe is working on some other events in your area. She knows a few people that way. I’ll keep you posted.

      June 17, 2014
  17. I love this meeting the reader story. I really like the passion you share with your readers. I hope someday we’ll manage to connect in person as well.

    June 16, 2014
    • I wish I were in Minneapolis for more than 24 hours last time, Lisa.

      June 17, 2014
  18. Phyllis DeLong #

    That is wonderful that you got to meet a fan! I enjoy your blogs so much.

    June 16, 2014
    • Thanks, Phyllis. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book enough to re-read it.

      June 17, 2014
  19. Laura is an amazing person! I can only imagine how much trouble you two could get in together:)

    June 16, 2014
  20. Good to know…. My copy of “To Live Forever” just arrived today!

    June 16, 2014
    • I so wanted to post a goofy photo of me peering over the book, but the comments section won’t allow photos. Probably a good thing all around!

      June 16, 2014
    • Several people have posted them on Facebook or sent them to me. I’m so glad to hear you’re reading it. Thank you so much.

      June 17, 2014
  21. To me its about human connection! I would do it too! Glad you did, I have met three of my Blogging pals so far!

    June 17, 2014
    • Were the three you met what you expected?

      June 17, 2014
      • Absolutely 100% yes! You do have a tendency to get to know people fairly well after awhile here and phone and Skype helps. Nice to see you on I think it was Tumblr or Instagram yesterday !

        June 18, 2014
  22. That’s wonderful! It looks like it was worth the looooong drive! 🙂

    June 17, 2014
  23. tarakianwarrior #

    Awesome!

    June 17, 2014
    • Meeting readers is always awesome. I can’t wait to meet you.

      June 17, 2014
  24. I have never actually met a reader, so I am thrilled at your opportunities to do so. If I read or follow someone I become part of the process. Hopefully i can one day meet a reader!

    June 17, 2014
    • I try to make the opportunities whenever I can. It’s just so interesting to know the people in person.

      June 17, 2014
  25. Thank YOU for not only driving all the way from Melbourne to meet me, however also meeting me straight after driving all that way and on the eve of your wedding anniversary! I was thrilled to meet you both and i enjoyed every minute 🙂

    June 18, 2014
  26. You are the best, Andra – and Laura is someone whose words I always enjoy reading. Kudos to you both for making the effort to go the distance. 🙂

    June 18, 2014
  27. You’re right: connecting with people across the world who have the same mindset: what a very 21st century privilege that is. Glad you both had a great time.

    June 19, 2014
  28. That is so cool!!! Way to go Laura!!!

    June 19, 2014
  29. Reblogged this on Reading For The Masses and commented:
    It was such a privilege to meet both Andra and MTM. I thoroughly enjoyed the night and if you haven’t already read Andra’s book – what are you waiting for?!

    July 18, 2014

Talk Amongst Ourselves

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: