When I started writing, I strongly believed that I was writing only for myself. I thought that it did not matter if anyone read what I wrote – as long as I continued to write. Naturally, for a long time, I was the only one reading what I wrote. But, I didn’t care.
Then, one day, I was in conversation with another writer who asked me a simple question: If I was writing only for myself, why was I even writing?
What he meant was that writing is essentially a way to communicate – a way to make others see what you see, and how you see it. If you are going to be the only one to read what you have written, then you need not write at all.
I realised, then, that I wanted to write because I wanted to be READ… and when I said, I did not care if anyone was reading what I wrote, I was wrong.
If you are reading this post, then the chances that you too write because you want to be read are more than the chances that you write simply because you want to write.
What might, however, be different between you and me, or between you and any other writer, is the kind of reader we are writing for.
Like most things in life, it then boils down to the quality versus quantity debate.
It is not the quality and the quantity of a writer’s work that we are talking about here, but the quality and quantity of the audience.
If a writer wants to have a higher readership then he has to write in a manner that will attract the majority of the audience. The subject he writes about will also be heavily influenced by the things that are popular during his lifetime.
There is, however, almost nothing that is universally liked. Therefore it is almost impossible to write something that will be liked by one and all. So, a writer has to choose his readers with care, because, before he knows it, his writing will begin to be affected by what his readers want to read.
This is especially true for a blogger, because a blogger gets immediate feedback on his posts. He gets to know the things that people like to read on his blog, and the things they don’t. Since every blogger wants to keep his readers happy, he is likely to write more posts on subjects that are liked by his readers.
On the other hand, when a writer says that he does not care who the reader of his writing is, he hardly means to say that he does not want any readers for his work. What he means, instead, is that he will not write for the majority – he will write what he truly believes in even if that means his readership is restricted to a few like minded people. He also hopes that someday, in the future, there will be more people who begin to understand his work, and appreciate it.
So, I am sure, every one who writes wants to be read, and therefore it is important for every writer to know who he is writing for, because that will greatly influence what he writes. Wouldn’t you agree?