Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The ABCs of Writing: A is for Audience

I have decided to try something different for my Wednesday posts.  I want to cover my ABCs of writing.  This is my attempt to take a humorous look at how I respond to various aspects of writing.  I hope to do each letter of the alphabet, so this will be going on for awhile.

I hope you enjoy!

A is for Audience

I sit in front of my laptop and open notebook, a sense of dread spreading through my limbs.  I’ve only ever written for myself.  I have always written what I want to write, with the obvious exception of class assignments, of course.  When I’m writing for myself, there is no pressure.  Only freedom.

Then I heard a word that made me shudder.  Audience.  If you ever want to be successful in the writing biz, you need to know who your readers are, who your intended audience is.  Sure, there are examples of writers who didn’t take this into consideration and became wildly successful anyway, but I have to face facts.  My luck simply isn’t that good.

The panic sets in as I wonder who in the world would want to read anything I write anyway.  Who do I want to reach?  Who do I want to entertain?  Which audience is least likely to eat me alive?

I can’t deny this much.  The idea of having any audience both excites and terrifies me.  If I have an audience, it also means that I have expectations placed upon me.  People who may be angry at the choices I make.  I mean, have you seen angry fangirls?  Or infuriated fanboys?  Yikes!

A piece of advice that I’ve heard before comes to mind.  Picture them in their underwear.  That will make the audience seem less intimidating.  Granted, this is advice given to those speaking in public, but it could still apply.  Right?

Then I pause.  Following this advice could potentially be creepy.  Definitely not the kind of technique a children’s writer should employ.


I mustn’t let my mind get off track.  I’ll only freak myself out if I continue along this track of thought.

Fine.  There’s only one solution to my predicament.  My audience is . . . me.  Surely there are others like me out there, and maybe they’re looking to read the kind of story I can tell. 


Hmm.  I decide that I’m going to operate off of this assumption.  If I don’t, I’ll never get anything done.


  1. I've seen similar advice. "If the book you want to read doesn't exist, you must write it."

    My dayjob is technical writing, and it's easier to know who the audience is in that line of work. But it doesn't make the writing all that easier. :-)

  2. Your audience is you! And those like you who enjoy what you enjoy. Best way to think about them.
    Although least likely to eat you alive helps as well...