I still remember that feeling of joy and accomplishment to have created something that entertained and appealed to them. It's been a long, long time since I've interacted with a target audience in such a personal way. I've found myself working in a vacuum, and let me tell you, there is no faster way to lose the motivation to write.
A few days ago, I drove down to see a friend and help her set up her classroom for her first teaching job. As an English teacher, she had books galore that all needed to be tagged and shelved. It was incredibly fun for me to go through all the young adult books and remember what it was like to fall in love with reading at that junior high age. There were so many books that had shaped me during those years. So many authors who touched me through their work. And then it hit me. I can be one of those authors.
Leaving that classroom, with the smell of books still fresh in my nose, prompted me to remember who I write for. I write for that kid who wants to get lost in another world. I write for the teenager who is exploring all the wonderful and not-so-wonderful things that come along with adulthood. I write for that full time worker who just wants an escape from the daily grind on their lunch break. These are my readers, these are the people I write for. And if I can bring a little of that joy and wonder I felt as a kid to others, I know that I will feel that same joy in return for having shared, if only for a brief moment, a part of myself with someone else.