Don't Write for an Audience

October 19, 2019

Don’t write because it’ll play well in front of others, write because you want to or because you think it’s important.

The problem with most content on the Internet nowadays is how bland it tastes. And writing to please a market segment is the best way to do that.

When you write for an audience, you shut down your inner voice. It’s counter-productive. Not only restraining your personality from shining through will make your writings less relatable, but it’ll also prevent you from attracting the right people.

Failing to do so is a crime. Writing is not meant to manipulate others for monetary or social gains, it’s a way to express yourself. An audience is not an end-goal, it’s a by-product of genuine work.

Steven Pressfield expresses it beautifully: ”The hack is like the politician who consults the polls before he takes a position. […] It can pay off, being a hack. […] But even if you succeed, you lose, because you’ve sold out your Muse, and your Muse is you, the best part of yourself, where your finest and only true work comes from.

You might be tempted to write content at the crossroads of what you want and what your audience wants, but it’s also a mistake. The creator has to constantly reinvent herself to grow. Whatever you do, you have to be confident you’ll attract a different audience. You won’t lose your audience, it’ll just change. And it’s okay.

Writing for yourself doesn’t mean you should neglect the quality of your content. Focusing on getting better at your craft is self-rewarding.

It doesn’t mean you should neglect what’s going on outside either, confronting yourself to reality is how you learn to judge your work.

Let your writings be the vehicle of your soul and you’ll never have to censor yourself again. Be unapologetically yourself and you’ll eventually find the right individuals to help you.