I’d be honored to be your pen pal…
I wasn’t going to write about the passing of John Hughes. And then I read this post, which I’m sure a week later you’ve probably read as well (if you’re in your late 30’s and was a teenager during the 80’s and have a great nostalgic fuzzy feeling toward Ferris, Duckie, Sam, Bender, Allison, Cameron et al. You also are able to pull random lines out of your sub conscious and still get a kick out of Beuller…Beuller….).
What I love about this exchange of letters is the notion that not only did John Hughes know exactly who he was writing for, but that he liked who he was writing for. There’s something to be said about a guy at the height of his career, taking the time to write to a teenager. How many millions of others would have laughed off at the idea of becoming a pen pal? To a teenager? How many would have thought it a waste of time? John Hughes didn’t.
We all have an audience. Sometimes it’s an audience of one – the doctor and their patient. An audience of thirty – the teacher and their students. Sometimes it’s an audience of thousands – the author and their readers. it can even be in the millions – the television show seen round the world.
We must like our audience enough to want to communicate with them, share with them, write them, and allow them to communicate, share, write back. Hear what they have to say.
My favourite John Hughes movie moment of all time, and it’s a repeated rhythm that appears time and time again in my writing, is in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off when Cameron sits in his car uselessly debating whether he’s going to go over to Ferris’ house. It’s a quintessential character moment, which I suppose says more about me than the moment. But hey….
CAMERON: He’ll keep calling me, he’ll keep calling me until I come over. He’ll make me feel guilty. This is uh… This is ridiculous, ok I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go. What – I’LL GO. Shit.