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.

*

Yes, we each need to identify just which genre we are in and want to promote, we each in the broad sense want to reach those readers interested in what we have to offer, but don’t worry about your readers when you write your story. They will find you.

Avid readers are people hungry for a good story all the time. It’s food to them. They go hunting. They will find you.

Then all you have to do is continue to be yourself and write the way that is natural for you. It’s a win for you because you’re not sweating over pleasing your readers (you’ve already done that, just being yourself), and it’s a win for your readers because they already know they like your style and will come back for more.

In other words, give up worrying and go back to writing what YOU want to write. It will be the right choice for you and your readers.

Cheers!

😀

Allyson

12 thoughts on “Don’t worry about your readers, just be yourself.

  1. ninakaytel

    How did you balance writing for yourself, with editing the story up-to-par so reader’s maintain interest and can smoothly read the story?

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      Hi Nina! 🙂

      I started off – way back before I had any talent whatsoever – writing for myself, always writing what I wanted to read. Early on, as you can probably guess, I bumped into just how bad my early attempts were and how what showed on the page was far removed from what was in my head. Getting that sorted took years and that effort is where I got my training.

      The trick for me was to read my own work – over and over and over. Every re-write got shelved and read again. I delved heavily into research, both hands on and following the experts on whatever detail I was looking at (for realism). So I knew what I wanted on that level.

      Editing and getting the story up to par came hand-in-hand with learning (the hard way) how to write. Yes, I admit to years of frustration trying to shape the words to say what I wanted them to say, and the pace to be the pace I wanted. So it takes time.

      What I have noticed, though, is that a lot of writers worry about areas outside their story, areas they can’t do much about – such as pleasing every reader or appealing to as many as they can. Even the best authors will have detractors. We simply don’t all like the same things.

      My attempt here is to get writers to realize that they themselves are the reader that can tell them the most, and the only reader they can fully appeal to. In any area – any endeavour – those who love what they do produce the best work and get the best results. When a writer fully engages with their story, their characters, plot, emotions, pace, backdrop – everything – they can show that far more clearly than if they try to look at their own work through the thoughts and acceptances of another.

      That “other” might not like your work, but that does not make your work bad or wrong. Trying to “fix” your work for that one person will have you lose another who loved your work as it was, except that now you’ve changed it.

      If you are true to yourself and write the way that you are driven to write, the rest will look after itself. This applies to everything, from gaining writing skills, mastering pace, editing, etc., all the way to finding readers. Your job is simply to shine and put everything that is you into your efforts. Readers who want exactly that will find you, and stay, and word will spread.

      I hope this helps. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Yuna

    Indeed, absolutely in, i found writing (blog) to speak our mind not others, it’s hard to please everyone after all. so, yes, be what we want to be :D.

    Semangat!!!

    Reply
  3. Uzoma

    I think if a writer pays so much attention to every writing tip or suggestion/view he would wind up with a bland book or no manuscript at all. As much as “external voices” are necessary in order to keep a writer abreast with the current happenings and demands in the genre/multi-genre where his story is based, he should know when to draw the line.

    We shouldn’t forget that there are people who will never see the good in the achievement of others just because they themselves have failed to achieve such status quo or are simply jealous of the talent before them.

    A writer “must” follow his heart and his imagination. Only then, will he be proud of what he has achieved.

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      Uzoma, you’ve totally nailed it. People can tie themselves in knots with rules and regulations, and there are many reasons why a person might “dislike” someone’s work that has nothing to do with a writer’s skills or plot.

      Actually there have been some good points raised in this thread and I’m following this post up today with another on this same subject to cover them. This will have some disclosure in it and certain things I never intended to discuss (being personal and in the past), but give an excellent example of just such a negative environment.

      I will include a link here, in this comment, when it goes up. [Link is HERE]

      I enjoy your comments very much, Uzoma, I think you are quite wise. I also like your willingness to help others, always in a positive and encouraging way. Thank you. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Abbey

    I’ve been browsing online morte than three hours today, yeet I nver fund any interedting article likje yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, iif all weeb oowners
    aand bloggers mase good content aas youu did, the
    internet wipl be much more usefgul tthan ever before.

    Reply

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