Choosing your Audience: Writing Intentionally

Whenever people bang out written communication, they typically determine who exactly they’re trying to communicate with. Whether you’re typing up an e-mail to a friend, writing a letter, or scribbling down a memo to yourself– odds are, a recipient has been pre-decided.

The irony is that most writers don’t have this degree of intentional-ity when it comes to their creative pieces.

If you’re writing as a hobbyist, you need not concern yourself with who you’re writing for: the answer is invariably yourself. If you have ambitions of becoming a professional writer, however, you’d do well to have a specific audience in mind.

Some writers do this before they even sit down with pen in hand. They choose a publication, for instance, and write to the demographic that is represented in that publication. This may seem like a trivial step, but stop and think: wouldn’t you write differently for a children’s book than for The Atlantic? Choosing where you plan to submit your writing to can help you easily determine your audience.

Other people write first, and then choose their audience. These people often have the romantic ideal of the story “writing itself.” Oftentimes, writers such as these like to let the muse take over, and they just try to stay out of the way. Once the work is completed, they choose the audience that they deem appropriate.

Do you fall into either of these two categories? Or do you fall into a different group?

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