Let me start this piece by apologizing if it is sloppy, disorganized or rambly. I am in my school’s library because I needed a quiet place, but it has been anything but. Who knew people came to the library to carry on the loudest conversations possible, and set off the alarms of emergency exits, which are clearly marked “Keep Closed Alarm Will Sound.”
Anyway. . .
One piece of advice he gives, which I always remembered but have never fully implemented is the importance of an ideal reader. For him, his ideal reader has and always will be his wife Tabitha. What this means is he asks himself, while writing, how Tabitha would feel about it. She is always the first person to read his work and, from what I’ve gathered, outside of his editors, her opinion matters the most.
Why is this beneficial? As the old saying goes, if you try to please everyone, you’ll please no one. Think about how exhausting and unproductive it is to write a book that everyone would love. Is something so impossible really worth the effort? It’s important to know your audience. That being said, sometimes, for me anyway, thinking of an intended audience can be overwhelming. When I see an audience as a bunch of faceless readers (well if I’m lucky there will be a bunch of them) my mind naturally assumes they all have different tastes and automatically begins trying to please them all. What I ended up with is a diluted piece of garbage.
Lately, I have been trying to actually follow the advice I’ve been told. Radical I know. I have been focusing on one ideal reader to please because, despite our best efforts to be different, people all around the world share similar experiences. Not everyone, but if you can resonate with just one reader, chances are you are resonating with every reader who has the same nostalgia, same high school experiences, same theories on the afterlife or trust issues etc. You end up reaching a large audience by focusing on just one person. That is a lot more manageable than starting with a large audience and funneling down to a specific channel.
I wanted to share these thoughts because this is something I am personally working on, and that means (based on the above paragraph) chances are there are a lot of other writers out there dealing with the same thing.
Anyway, thank you for reading.