The Expectation of Our Audience

Another question a writer must ask is who is it that they are writing for? There is a difference between the audience the writer expects, and the one whom actually reads. We may have an idea that we are writing for an adult audience, a certain group of people interested in certain things, and so we may tailor the plot or the subtle meanings woven into the plot in order to reach that audience. Perhaps that is why some writers fall into a genre. But then, this authorial audience, the audience assumed by the writer, may not be so.

The possibly frightening truth is that once the words are released to the world, whether through print, online, blog, or even word of mouth, we have absolutely no control. We do not chose the Actual Audience. The actual audience may turn out to be unexpected, which could tell you something about yourself as a writer. Why were you able to reach out to this unexpected group? We have to relinquish control of our ideas and our characters and plots, and expose them to interpretations and analysis. Our meanings can be misinterpreted or lost completely. Some writers no longer have the chance to clarify there words, and literary scholars, students, and you and I must simply guess. Do they roll over in their graves if we guess wrong?

Or do we write blindly? Do we just follow the inspiration that flows from our minds, without a concern as to who reads it. Is this the better option? Perhaps we may write about topics controversial but important to us without the fear of scorn from those against our opinions. Perhaps, by not caring about audience we can be free to write. There would be no worries about pleasing the reader, we would write to please ourselves.

Yet, then, why again do we write? If we write for ourselves then why not just stick to a journal? Or a diary? Do you care about reaching out to the audience?

There are many questions a writer must ponder.


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4 thoughts on “The Expectation of Our Audience

  1. Interesting questions. I think that only someone who feels (s)he has something to say …something of worth, writes. Consideration of the Self may actually be primary. And then we have people who have to earn a living out of writing – and must therefore consider what the audience wants to hear, what’s trending and what’s gone viral. But that’s just me justifying myself. Great post!

    1. Thank you, and yes I agree there is a big difference between the two. And I think it is so easy to tell, sometimes, when a writer writes for the pay check, and when they write to share their voice. Thank you for sharing!

  2. You have thoughtful posts.
    Regarding this one… It’s hard to answer. I write the tale that is in my head. Perhaps I am lucky that I know that readers of my genre will probably like it. But then what of the writers who want to tell highly abstract tales? I donno.

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