Who do you write for? I don’t mean which publication, company or special interest group. I mean who is your audience? Is it you or is it comprised of various types of people?
My audience varies. I have written copy for newsletters, new business proposals, white papers, case studies and print ads. Also, I wrote for the student newspaper, the Western Herald, at Western Michigan University (WMU) while earning my degree there. The content I produce is tailored to the interests as well as the knowledge of the audience. It has always been important — to me — to write with the end objective in mind. What do I want my writing to achieve for my employer and/or for myself? Do I want my response to a Request For Proposal (RFP) to get my employer to the next round in contract negotiations for new business? Was that investigative piece I wrote in college going to help other students call out shady landlords and also motivate my own to fix my leaky roof?
I take a different approach with my creative writing. Usually, I write about whatever comes to mind. Earlier this week, I read a post, It Was the Day the Pumpkin Appeared on the Chair, about freewriting. That post took me back to junior high, high school and college where freewriting was a practice taught in English class. The purpose of such an exercise is not really to think too much about what is coming out on a page. The purpose is just to take an idea and write. So, in this case, I write for myself. Sometimes I find snippets from these writings that can be used in a blog post or even for professional purposes. But, other times, these writings are not to be shared with an audience just yet.
The premise for this post came from two sources. One was from a new blogging friend from The Tattered Thread. His post, The Power of Community, talks about how much impact social media has on the content online writers produce. I admit, it influences my posts. I look at my site stats regularly to assess which posts garner comments, likes and followers.
A second source was a post, An Artist’s Palete at Jane in Progress, a blog by experienced television writer, Jane Espenson. I appreciate how she considers herself to be a part of the audience she writes for. This viewpoint helps me feel more confident about the appeal my own stories will generate when I am ready to write and share them. If I’m not loving what I create, how can I expect you to?