Clarifying your writing goal and finding your Audience

For Whom Are You Writing?

Photo by Cason Asher on Unsplash

Yesterday, I went to the bank to make a deposit, and the teller who read the name Wise Writer Publishing on my deposit slip became excited. She asked me if I was a local publisher, sharing that she is a writer. Of course, I congratulated her immediately, and she admitted that she has never finished a book or shown her writing to others because she’s afraid.

With people standing in line behind me, I couldn’t really get into a long conversation and offer too much advice at a teller window, but I did encourage her to join a critique group and to be among other writers who are all learning.

This got me thinking that we are typically our own first audience. We write for ourselves; then eventually, we are willing to write for others. At each stage of our writing career, it’s important to know who we are writing for and why.

Your writing goal

Even as a beginning writer, you should have a goal. Are you hoping to publish your writing someday? Are you writing to have a creative outlet? Are you writing to relieve stress at the end of the day or writing as a way to meditate or heal from painful memories? All reasons are reasonable, but it’s important to know why you write so that you can set a long-term goal if your goal is to publish.

Your goals might change over time

Like the bank teller who is currently writing for herself, we all start out a bit fearful and unsure, writing almost in secret as if we are doing something wrong.

But our goal may change over time because we become more courageous, confident, or curious, wondering if what we have written is “good,” and we seek confirmation from others.

It’s natural for your goals to change over time. Ask yourself if you have the desire to publish your work. If you do, then publication is your ultimate goal, even if right now, you only want to write for yourself and enjoy time alone creating a story.

Your audience

Understanding your goal is the first step in creating a clear picture of your audience. All writing has an audience. Is the audience you? When I…

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