Famous and widely acclaimed American novelist, Stephen King said somewhere in his public interaction with fans, that his wife was the real and only audience he wrote a novel in the memory of.
For a writer like me, it came as a surprise to learn how come a world famous novelist not attributing his millions of fans to his books’ roaring success, and instead, he gave credit to the single individual for his worldwide success?
Well, I might be wrong in my way of analyzing his statement, as I believe, writing is largely associated with the writer’s personal creativity and his novelty of letting out ideas. Also, there is always a source the writer obtains inspiration from, as happens in the case of Stephen.
However, after learning the account of the novelist, I came across with a new-born and somewhat an innovative idea, something that prompted me to have a second-thought on my writing and the style I use to represent my thoughts/viewpoints.
I just concentrated my focus onto one thing after much contemplativeness – audience!
Yes, my writing was sorely affected with the mania of addressing all the audiences worldwide regardless of the fact that I had preached several times in many of my articles/blogs against not inviting the obsession with all the readers. However, when I wrote something, I just couldn’t comprehend the perfunctory whimsicality of addressing all the audiences. I was virtually falling in the trap of “I can please everyone” sort of delusional belief.
After Stephen King, another statement from an equally renowned, world-famed writer, William Zinsser, turned out to be an outlook-changer, especially in the perspective of how I handled my writing in the foolish or possibly wishful (figment of) imagination, that “Every reader worldwide is reading my stuff” – and which afforded unenthusiastic response and poor visibility of my blogs/articles.
Mr. Zinsser, in his book, On Writing Well, said,
“Don’t try to visualize the great mass audience. There is no such audience—every reader is a different person.”
Whoa! Wondrous, isn’t?
Writing is supposed to be a channel of externalizing your thoughts/ideas in a standard fashion of your gifted creativity, lest the very creativity should be degenerated into an abject eccentricity of your artistic expressions.
When writing of such style becomes an ingrained and habituated second-nature of a writer, the acquired taste to misrepresent facts is bound to occur, eventually. That said, the writer attains the mentality of “Appeasement policy” where he/she subconsciously places every audience (faceless audiences) in his mind as the reader of his/her stuff.
In that stage of mindset, the writer blithely escorts the idea of ‘audience-pleaser’.
It is not bad to keep your audience happy until you mean it otherwise. Being fixated with the mindset of appeasing everyone denotes the (incurable) mentality of enslaving yourself to their happiness.
The fact is – YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE.
In India, while certain section of readers loves the writing of Chetan Bhagat, the other sections abhor it based on their comparison with other favorite writers of theirs.
However, does Chetan give a damn to the haters?
I guess, not. He’s perhaps well aware of his REAL audiences.
And, if Chetan or any writer who rents this futile comparison a space in their head, then I am afraid, the writer will soon lose his own creativity, the natural flair to EXPRESS ideas.
Your creativity shouldn’t be compromised on the ethos advocating appeasement of all readers. True, that no writer can survive without certain section of fan-readers, those audiences who wait for your next release and who do not hesitate buying your new book at any cost. But at the same time, it is not befitting of any writer to have the obsession with keeping every reader happy.
It is IMPOSSIBLE.
Paying heed to every audience under the false assumption that they will surely love your write-up is a thought you need to put that out of your mind. It is unrewarding. It is thankless attempt of yours.
For example, do you believe your expertise in writing articles about healthcare can benefit those readers who are interested in reading something about latest technologies?
Do you think your article that shares generous amount of information about gardening tips can be of helpful anyway for those who favor deforestation of every plant on the earth?
Or, can your support about existence of God convince the mindset of atheists or profane who do not like their anti-God beliefs being challenged?
You need to ponder on these questions. It will help you understand that the world is fraught with people having different viewpoints based on their tastes, religions and casts. In short, addressing all the audiences is a thankless job. Just have your own unique creativity. Do not sound like the zerox copy of someone else. Quit the habit of pleasing everyone.
It is best to have few, real audiences and be happy with your niche, than trying to please everyone and suffer from the consequence of poor creativity, whimsical representation of ideas, and then being a writer having no loyal audience.
If you loved the blog and have something different on your mind, do not hesitate to share your viewpoints!