Write for yourself or for your readers

If you are a new or inexperienced writer thinking about whether you should write for yourself or for your readers might be the last thing on your mind. However, if you would like to share your stories then read on to see how your content and writing style can be influenced by your potential readership.

Write for yourself or for your readers – here are the advantages of just writing for yourself

If you simply enjoy writing and have given little or no thought to sharing your scribblings with anybody else then there are some advantages.

The advantages of writing just for yourself

  • You can please yourself what you write about.
  • You can be completely honest because you don’t have to worry about offending anyone.
  • You avoid any risk of criticism and you don’t have to satisfy any expectations of your readers so you can be as self indulgent as you want.
  • You are free to be creative and experimental and you don’t have to think about what message you are trying to convey.
  • You don’t have to worry about grammar, spelling, writing style or anything else that inhibits your flow of creativity.

If you know you would carry on writing whether or not anyone else ever sees it then that’s fine. However, if you were to stop and think about how much pleasure you could give to others if you were prepared to share your stories, would this change your mind?

For many writers creating a story is only part of the experience – it is the satisfaction and pleasure of seeing other people enjoy what they have written which makes it worthwhile.

Write for yourself or for your readers – here are the advantages of writing for your readers

Stories are an intrinsic part of our culture and their influence can be seen not only in books but also in music, TV, films, art, news media etc..  Even before man learned to write, oral stories were passed down from generation to generation. And it is the desire for storytelling that inspires most writers to put pen to paper and then share their stories.

The advantages of writing for an audience

  • You get feedback and comments which can help you to improve the quality and effectiveness of your writing.
  • You get an unbiased and honest reaction to your story which helps you to determine whether you are conveying the right message.
  • It makes you think about the needs of your readers instead of writing just to please yourself.
  • It obliges you to edit your work for grammar, spelling, clarity and flow to ensure that your readers have a pleasing and worthwhile experience.
  • Above all it gives you the pleasure and satisfaction of sharing your story with others.

How to identify your potential readers

If you haven’t got a clear idea of who your potential readers might be then imagine you are writing for just one person such as a family member or friend. As you write think about what would inspire that person to read what you have written and what message you want them to take away. If that one reader enjoys what you have written and can relate to and empathise with your storyline and characters, then so will others.

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Write for yourself or for your readers – or is this the last thing on your mind?
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