Wednesday, August 3, 2022

#ISWG: For Whom Do You Write?

This month's question: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

This month’s question got me thinking about how much I think about my audience when I write. I know the cardinal rule is to keep your audience in mind. But for better or worse, it really varies for me…

Middle Grade: I tend to have a specific person in mind when I write, usually a student, one of my sons, or a child of a friend. The common denominator is this child is struggling to find books they want to read. Or sometimes I’m inspired by a gap I see in MG books.

YA: These have generated the most enthusiasm from my adult critique partners. I usually start with an idea from my own life, so I feel like I’m writing more for myself, the book I would like to read. It's rare that I’m thinking of a specific teen…even though I'm pretty much surrounded by teens in real life.

Short stories: These are my experimental works. I try things in short stories I’d never do in a novel. Like writing from the point of view of a book!

Nonfiction Articles: I don’t write these much anymore, but I always wrote specifically for the publication, either off their wish list or theme list. But since I write for kids, I enjoyed the challenge of finding a way to explain an obscure historical tidbit in a kid-friendly way.

PBs: I'm just dipping my toes into this genre. Of course, I do have to please the reader, but I like the shorter form and word play involved.

I don't think it has to be either or. There is originality even when you have a strict form. Think of the sonnet! (Something I have never attempted.) The wonderful thing about writing is that even when I’m writing for other people, my story will be original just because I am the one writing it. It will be colored with how I see the world. I’m always looking to get better at my craft and engage the reader more…but  writing is also fun for me too. It's an adventure, no matter what I write.

My answer: Both!

How about you? Do you write to please the reader or yourself?

*Just a note that I won’t be able to be online for much of Wednesday. I will probably be late in reading other people’s posts and returning blog visits. But know that I do treasure every comment, and reading your posts inspires me to keep going!

If you'd like to read more ISWG posts or sign up, please go HERE. You won't be disappointed.


  1. Wow. I'm impressed with your diversity in writing! I admit, I don't think much about my audience either when I write. As long as I'm enjoying myself, it's good enough for me.

  2. Hi,
    I agree because the originality doesn't stem from the form you use, but from your art to tell a story that captures your audience.
    All the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  3. Writing from the POV of a book - what a novel approach. I should try it sometimes.

  4. The reader is always in my mind's eye when I tell a story, or some variation of myself when I was the reader's age ;)

  5. Great prompt and I like your approach. I always have the child-me in mind when I begin a story but it is during revision that I pay more attention to my intended audience. It's usually someone specific though, like my kids, a friend, my mother even :)