Saturday, August 18, 2012


I have a pivotal problem.

I often find myself writing prose with the intention of someone reading it. Perhaps this stems from the life-long conditioning I have undergone spending over fourteen years in school and counting writing for teachers. Throughout school and the business world, we are told to recognize our audience in order to write more effectively.

I believe this mindset, among countless other excuses, has been holding me back from reaching my full potential as a writer. Even now I find myself picturing an intended audience. True, I am currently posting this on a public forum, but even in the comfort of my own leather-bound notebook do I find myself wondering what other people would think of my writing.

So why, when I’m writing, do I concern myself with what a fake audience might think? We all know this will never be read anyways. On this blog, I imagine stragglers of all sorts stumbling upon a blog with too much content and too little color. In my personal notebook (fine, diary), I imagine a reader hundreds of thousands of years in the future using my book as the basis to either:
  1. Rebuild society on Earth, or 
  2. Learn what life was like around 2012
 Don’t look at me like that. I told you this problem is pivotal. Besides, that outlook was sparked by a comment from the gift-giver that this book could outlast thousands of years and spurred on by my own overimagination. Anyways, the point is even simple. Even when I should be sure I am only writing for myself (my audience being people I actually know is not a concern for some reason), I still comfort myself with false approval from false readers.
Even those who know no one will read what they have written still write with an audience.
I know I am not alone. Sure, there are probably a great deal of people who can successfully write for themselves, and not just an audience with judging eyes. However, from formal letters to personal thoughts, these days almost all writing is readily published for readers internationally. Whether the audience is someone as specific as your boss, to something as vague as all the readers on tumblr looking up the tag “plumbob,” your writing has already been affected in style and content.

Within every weakness, there can be strength. Maybe I’m just looking at things the wrong way.

No comments:

Post a Comment