My ideal reader wants to learn about how other people manage to live meaningful lives in the world, and also find time for introspection and solitude.
My ideal reader can sustain periods of introspection without going bonkers.
My ideal reader needs more time to read and think and be in nature.
My ideal reader wants to read short things that are witty but have some meat to them. (By “meat” I mean a take-away, something useful that he might want to try out as an experiment.)
I want to write to this reader in an entertaining way, but also say, “Hey, this is a light-hearted approach to something I take really seriously. I am smiling in this piece, but I also want you to know that this is an important project I’m working on.
My ideal reader knows this is basically about me, and how I show up in the world. He understands I am trying to figure out how much energy and enthusiasm I can muster for the everyday moments of life: interacting with people, situations, and things.
Everyday I deal with electronic devices and books and blogs and yoga students and writing and dogs and food and working out and money and relationships. That’s what I write about and what concerns me. My ideal writer is concerned about some of these things, too.
My ideal reader and I are also vitally concerned with devising spiritual strategies for staying present and awake. We want to notice overlooked and taken-for-granted things.
I suspect my ideal reader’s most pressing problem is finding meaningful work.
She wonders if she is maximizing her full human potential (and highly suspects that she’s not). I will confess to her that I am not anywhere close to maximizing my full human potential either, but like her, I am aware that this is an important problem that needs to be solved before a whole lot more time passes.
My ideal reader may feel socially isolated, and not currently living with his tribe.
My ideal reader may be in a period of deep transition, waiting for the next thing to present itself.
My ideal reader may be a little timid about going out and trying new things, risking failure, even though my reader knows that that is the only way to make change.
My ideal reader wants me to write to him from a deeply authentic place, soul to soul, and not be pedantic or overbearing. He doesn’t need to read long tomes about me, but for me to simply open the blinds on my own experience and show him that I am the same as he is, and this is how I deal with it.
I need to be honest with my ideal reader and tell her that I haven’t figured out vast stretches of this terrain, but if I ever do stumble upon something helpful, I will be sure to share.
My ideal reader and I also know that there is someone out there who needs us, and the things we have to offer. He realizes that we are all in a kind of relay race, and up ahead is a runner poised to take our baton and run the next leg.
My ideal reader and I know that it is our singular mission in life not to strand that runner. We have to hand off our baton. No matter what. And soon.
(Definitely before we croak.)