For the past four years, this blog hasn't really been categorized as a writing blog. However, I've been thinking that it needs a little more of that. Since writing is my passion, why not share all about it here?
Yesterday, I was talking to my grandmother on the phone and she said something that hit me. Hard. People had told it to me before, but it had never registered in my mind like it did right then. It was like several people had written the same thing on rocks and then threw them at me, but hers was the only one that hit me square on the head. In a good way.
The simple sentence she said was: "Write for your audience."
I mean, that should be obvious, right? At any other time I would have agreed, nodded, stored that away in my safe of writing information. But it just hit me differently that time. Write for your audience.
The thing is, as I realized with a start, I hadn't been doing that. I had been sitting at my computer with the word document open, hardly daring to write about what I wanted to write about because I was afraid people wouldn't like it. But the people I had in my head whilst I was so petrified were not my target audience. It was my family and adult friends. I never once thought about all the teenagers that I'm writing this book for. Sure, if adults like it, then they are welcome to read it with a handshake from me. But that's not who my books are for. I don't want to relate to adults, I want to relate to teenagers. And once I realized that, the thought of writing seemed so much more shiny in my mind. Not that teenagers aren't hard to please, but, in general, they like the things that I'm writing about (oh, you know, romance, mystery, adventure, all that good stuff which I pour over in my spare time). Suddenly, I felt much more connected to my readers.
I'm writing this post in the hope that if you've never thought about the sentence "Write for your audience" in this way before, you will now. It helped me so much that I thought maybe it would help you. If it does, take it and run with it. Write that stellar book for your target audience and don't worry about what the people outside that target audience think of it. And then, when it's all done and published and prettily bound with one of those really cool covers on it, send me a copy.