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Are You Writing For Readers?

stone arch leading to a beach - illustrating an article called ‘Are You Writing For Readers?’I recently read an interesting post that sparked yet another hot debate on a social media writer’s group.

This particular writer said that they don’t care if nobody ever reads their writing.

In their world there is no such thing as writing for readers.

They write for the pure love of writing.

Now, I tried, but found this hard to believe. I love writing – absolutely, but writing is for readers.

Apart from what you write in your diary, or journal, you write so that others may read. That’s the whole point of writing – it’s for other people, those who like to read.

If you are publishing your writing, self-publishing, or otherwise, then, whether you admit it or not, you must care. Otherwise why bother?

WHY DO WRITERS CLAIM NOT TO CARE IF THEIR WORK IS READ?

Claiming not to care is a defense – a classic defense but it doesn’t hold water.

If your work goes out there and nobody reads it then it may mean that the writing is not good, or not marketed well, or maybe a combination of both.

Either way, you should care. If you don’t care, you don’t learn.

Unfortunately, some writers are led by their ego to believe that the reason their writing is not read is because they are an artist, a misunderstood one at that.

They will believe anything, rather than acknowledge that their work isn’t good enough for others to read and that maybe they are still learning their craft.

There is nothing wrong with that. We all start somewhere, but refusing to believe that there is a learning process in writing, as in everything else, is a huge mistake.

Unless you understand that there is always room for improvement and that every word you drop on a page isn’t always a pearl, then you will lack the motivation to develop your craft.

You can have talent but still produce bad writing – if you don’t care.

Talent, practice and experience is what makes good writing.

Okay, there are writers on social media who boast of huge earnings happening overnight, but I wouldn’t bet my career on it – this is as rare as winning the lottery

Oyster beds against a Galway sunset - illustrating an article called ‘Are You Writing For Readers?’Still, there are many who agree with the writer who doesn’t care about readers.

I think this comes back to the old ‘writers should be artists’ mindset.

That old romantic notion that we should live in a garret and be blissfully unaware of worldly things like rent, mortgages, heating and electricity – not to mention food.

Nice… if you can get it, but for those of us without generous benefactors, it is simply an impossibility.

The harsh reality is that if nobody likes your writing then nobody buys it. If you can’t sell it, then how can you pay your way through life?

Writers have bills just like everybody else.

Yes, it’s great to love your work, but being oblivious to what others think does not make you an artist, real or otherwise.

Caring what readers think makes us strive to improve our writing.

It is the reason many of us ‘real’ writers put so much effort into the writing, often rewriting chapters and stories too many times to even remember.

I’m not talking about trying to analyze the market and fill in the gap with a hastily written short novel, or trying to follow a trend for robot-romance, cowboys in space, or whatever the latest ‘thing’ is.

I am talking about the work, the dedication, and yes, the caring, that makes you a real artist.

Not caring? Well that just makes you someone who doesn’t care, and if you don’t care about your writing – then be happy because neither will anyone else.

Best of luck with your writing.

Grace

P.S. All the creative writing tips and information are provided here free for you. All I ask is that you leave a comment in the box and like, or share so that others may learn too.


If want some help practicing your craft try these practical creative writing exercises.

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