As usual, I won’t write a post that claims ultimate wisdom. My goal is to share ideas that get you thinking and, hopefully, sharing what you think in the Comments :-)
Should a writer write for the reader?
Who is the reader?
What value is there in writing what you consider necessary in spite of what readers may think?
Some writers will tell you to do research about your potential readers and find out what they want when they read. This is fairly straightforward if your goal is to produce books that fit into an accepted genre. If you write cross-genre or your writing is actually creating a new genre, the only reader you can consult is yourself and, possibly, that weird group of people who actually understand what you’re up to :-)
The value in writing what’s necessary, in spite of potential reader turn-off, is helping elevate the conversation our Human Family is engaged in. Some of the most enduring reads are books that were first misunderstood by the general public but trumpeted valiantly by those who saw the Value. Some things in life are worth fighting against horrendous odds to achieve higher ends…
I’m tempted to pull a little rant here about the formulaic method of writing that caters to formulaic readers, all spiraling into a slush fund of wasted resources–pimping your talent to make a buck. Oops, I did let a bit of rant slip, didn’t I :-)
There are honest writers who create within and give value to a niche market of readers. Plus, with all the burgeoning opportunities for self-promotion and publishing, these dedicated artists can reach their dreams of sharing their unique perspectives.
My personal solution for this seemingly contradictory situation of choosing either the reader or yourself as the motivating impulse for why you’d spend so much time alone creating something that might reach a large audience is:
Read as widely and deeply as you possibly can. Read till you’re bored and then read more. Absorb as much of our Human Family’s hopes and dreams and challenges and fears and dangers and failures and quirks as you possibly can–absorb it into what you could call your internal Meta-Reader.
Then, when you sit down to create, let that Meta-Reader decide what is absolutely necessary to write………
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