Don’t worry about your readers, just be yourself.


How can any of us write for any person? How can any writer put themselves into a reader’s head and provide just what that reader wants? There’s only one reader that counts – and that’s you, the writer.

Why? Can you tell me why you like ice cream? Why you prefer one flower to another? What switches inside you flick on interest or revulsion to certain words, music, thoughts, notions or people? Some of these questions you might know the answer to, some you might not. It’s hard to know ourselves, and impossible to fully know others.

I have some readers now (a lovely thing). I know some of them through this blog, some of them elsewhere. Quite a number I don’t know at all because they quietly enjoy my work, but have no intention of contacting me ever (and why should they? They have what they want).

The point is, they are different from each other. Each may or may not like the same things in my stories as the others and, while I might say I know them, I don’t really know them. Should I focus on trying to please individual readers or even a group of readers, I’m going to trip over myself. I’ll be trying to make assessments all the time that are most likely inaccurate and most definitely outside the story, outside the book itself. You simply can’t write a book while you are outside of it.

So, the trick is to write for yourself. You were a reader first, after all. If you are anything like me, you were driven to write because you couldn’t quite find what you were looking for to read. You came to realize the only way you were going to find that was to write that. That makes you and your style unique. It also means that people like yourself, looking for those self-same things, will be thrilled to find you.

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