When I was trying to publish The Duchess Quest as it originally stood, one of my best friends asked me what my purpose was: to write the book I wanted to write, regardless of all else, or to write something marketable that would get published?
Of course, I think any writer at heart will still write, even if no one’s reading (or publishing). I’ve mentioned elsewhere that writing is as essential to me as eating or breathing. It’s a cathartic reflex and is how I make sense of the world. I primarily write because it’s just how I’m wired; I couldn’t stop if I tried. But the question of an audience and how (or if) to share a finished product inevitably arises.
2 Thoughts on Who do you write for?
I write for an “ideal reader” of my genre. This imaginary person helps me think about how the story should go. His gender changes with every book. For Other Systems specifically it was a pedantic male somewhere in his 30’s who wants the science correct. This imaginary person didn’t lead me astray.
Elizabeth, that’s really cool! I’ve never thought to write for a singular ideal audience member. Almost sounds like he’s your literary thought-form/guide. 😀 It’s beginning to occur to me since posting this that I think I write for the characters most of all. Like, I can feel them asking me to tell transcribe their story, and directing me, “No, I would never say it like that! I’d do it *this* way…”