Thursday, September 26, 2013

You Always Write For Your Audience

I will tell any writer that the number one rule to keep in mind is that you always write for your audience. I've met a number of authors who seem to get upset, even offended, at the idea that they should tailor the way they write to make other people happy. Writing is an incredibly personal thing for them and they don't care what anybody else thinks. Other people either need to like it as it stands, or they need to move along.

I don't necessarily fault people for thinking this way. Writing is a very personal thing. It's a personal thing for everybody. But I do feel that people aren't quite understanding what I'm trying to explain to them.

First, ask yourself who your audience is. The cheap answer is to say everyone. It's a stupid answer because not everybody has the same tastes and preferences. The lazy answer is to say that your audience is the people who enjoy your work. Well, how are you supposed to distribute your writing to them if you can't come up with a more specific set of descriptions?

For many amateur writers, their true audience is themselves. And that's totally fine. It's ok for your audience to be you. But that still follows the number one rule: you are writing for your audience. What do you enjoy? What kind of writing style is pleasant? What kinds of stories do you like? You should answer those questions so that you end up creating something that you enjoy and respect.

Let me give you an example. I have known many writers who hate their own writing. They look at notebooks from their middle school or high school days and are embarrassed by it. They think that their own writing is bad and they feel bad about it. If that is happening, then it means that they failed to write for their audience.

Sometimes, even what you want as a writer is not the same as what you want as a reader. However, I do believe that what people choose to write is a kind of writing that they also want to read. So if you don't want to read your own writing, if you think your own writing is not good, then get better. Practice and learn and improve so that you can look on your old work with pride.

No comments:

Post a Comment