A recent happy surprise has set me thinking (not for the first time!) about the Writer and the Reader. I got back a critique from a judge in a contest to which I submitted a short story.
Even more than with the horse and carriage, you really can't have one without the other -- the Writer and the Reader, that is. Never mind all that stuff (I've already commented on it) about writing for yourself. The reader is the gem we're seeking.
Twice in the same six-month period, I've had comments on something I've written that made me do a kind of in-the-mirror double take. Luckily, I liked what I saw.
Have you ever been fortunate enough to have someone read your story, essay, poem, whatever, and respond with a comment that makes you wonder what you missed when you were struggling through making the thing up? It's awful when that turns out to be one of those unintended consequences that highlight something badly expressed or imperfectly researched...but once in a while, someone sees a metaphor or a moral or an idea that you comprehend yourself only after a new pair of eyes and another brain have seen what you thought you understood better than anyone else could. If you realize the words on the page do, indeed, enforce that (to you) new territory, it's like getting a prize.
Even though you suspect it's undeserved, may any writer reading this be lucky enough to find a dozen such Eureka moments!