Who do you write for?
I guess that title should be more correctly written: “For whom do you write?” but that sounds too stuffy.
It is a question I don’t think I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about. Do I write for some nebulous person who happens to be a conglomerate of many readers? Do I write to satisfy the editor of a magazine so my story or article will be published? Do I write for the readers of this blog who regularly leave comments?
I’m not really sure.
One thing I am certain about, however, is that I definitely write for myself. The satisfaction I derive from the creative process is worth the many long hours at the keyboard. I also like the warm glow I get when a piece works, or a story turns out far beyond my expectations. Coming back to something I wrote decades ago and getting a glimpse of a younger me, wow – that’s worth it.
It is almost trite to say, because it has been said so many times by some many writers, but I really HAVE to write. Not being able to write is like not being able to breathe. It is so much a part of who I am.
A recent article by Liz Strauss on Successful Blog has made me rethink this issue. Perhaps there is one person who is more important than me when it comes to my readers.
- Writing for that one most important reader: that curious, clever, intelligent individual.
- Successful Blog – Liz Strauss writes about many interesting topics.
I’ve been thinking about that since I read the article. The only answer I’ve been able to come up with so far is me. Whether it’s verse or an article, I write mainly so I can understand what I’m thinking about or feeling. I always assumed people with the same interests come to read what I write.
At work it’s a different story. I know who I write for there, so it’s easy to slant a report to the intended audience.
I too use writing to clarify what I am thinking on particular issues. I have used a journal for that purpose for many years though with all the blog writing I have done this year the journal has been sadly neglected.
Having written thousands of student reports over the years, not to mention other writing demanded of classroom teachers, it is liberating to write for myself and what interests me.
I feel I have so many stories and experiences as yet untapped that writer’s block should never be a problem. I think I will run out of days in my lifetime before I run out of ideas for writing, a happy situation to be in.
[…] Trevor Hampel gives some thought about our audience, knowing full well that “for whom” is just stuffy talk. […]