I do write for myself first. I admit it. It’s my process. As I write for myself, if it feels “right on” in some way, I then have a desire to refine and share it with others. I can’t keep it to myself if I discover something exciting, intriguing or fun.
Beyond writing for yourself, do you write for an audience…then, who is your audience? If you are writing a book, an essay, a poem, a trilogy, a novel or nonfiction, do you have someone in mind? By envisioning your readers, might you have a better idea of what and how your writing unfolds?
If you write it, will they read it?
A writer’s voice–it’s tone and cadence, it’s inherent poetry, the subject matter and author’s perspective–are some of the aspects of writing that gather an audience, a following of readers. Then, there are less obvious things that make a reader choose your book off a bookshelf and take it home. A connection that is felt…sometimes it’s the book title or cover. A flip through the pages and a catchphrase that makes a reader curious to know more. Or it could be what you’ve written on the back cover of the book. Or even the reviews from other authors.
I remember the slogan of a cement truck company in San Francisco from years ago “Find a need and fill it.” That’s what writers strive to do. Then, when all the other elements of a book are “in place,” our audience grows up around this need and the author’s inferred promise of offering a solution. Even if that solution is solely for the reader’s entertainment.
Remember this scene from Field of Dreams? If only we had such a mentor as James Earl Jones when we are procrastinating on writing or hesitant to put it out there.