My Ideal Listener

I am hip deep in halligators, Writer Friends. I’m writing and revising my way to sending a new manuscript off, and I only have a few minutes to post here, but I had to share this wish for you:

I wish for you, an ideal listener. Not reader, although ideal readers are out there, and when you find one, it makes you want to write faster and better, thinking of your words flying across the page in front of their wide, hungry eyes.

I have an ideal listener, and I think it’s possibly the best part of my writing life.

My ideal listener sits on the bed behind me as I read the chapters of my WIP aloud, wating patiently as I correct typos on the fly, listening intently to every word. He laughs and hoots and kicks at the covers when I read the funny bits. When the tension mounts, he stands up, crosses the room, and stands right behind my chair, his quick breath on my shoulder, tense fingers gripping the back of my chair.

He sneaks out of bed sometimes at night long after I’m done reading, tiptoes downstairs, opens my documents file, and steals an illicit next chapter because he can’t wait.

He tells me, at bedtime, that the book I’m writing is the best he’s ever heard, better than anything.

“Rick Riordan good?” I ask.


“Better than… The Ranger’s Apprentice?” I ask.


“You’re crazy. How about… Harry Potter?” We laugh. It is *almost* sacrilege.

Different, he says. Just as good.

Then: Can I hear just one more chapter tonight? Please?

I know it’s not all true, Friends, but it doesn’t matter. You need at least one cheerleader on the sidelines at the early stages of the game. And if your cheerleader will sit quietly as you read aloud (the MOST important part of revision, in my estimation), it makes even that part of the process deeply rewarding.

Now I have to go write about wishes, and ideas, and seeds. Just a few more pages…

Write well, Friends!


Posted in Children's Fiction, Family News, People I Love on 01/09/2012 02:40 pm


  1. Awh!!! I love this… I want one!

    I have an excellent idea-bouncer-offer… but sadly, my idea-bouncer-offer has yet to actually sit down and read my book from cover to cover (or rather from Word page 1 to Word page 375)…. I’m convinced its just cause he’s busy….

    …But I admit: I might be slightly jealous ( ;


    • Nikki Loftin

      Thanks, Julie! I can loan my bouncer-offer out – as long as it’s MG you’re needing read. 🙂


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