Don’t Write for Others; Write for Yourself
by Rachel Summers
Whether you’re writing an opinion piece about government policy, discussing societal and cultural influencers, or even constructing a legal or scientific argument, it can be difficult to decide who to write for. Are you writing for yourself, or are you writing for your readers?
Is there a universal answer? It might seem on the surface that the answer is simple – and if it does, then that’s a good sign. You likely know who you are writing for without even thinking about it. For some, it’s a matter of writing solely for an audience with a view of increasing web traffic or providing a service. For others, it may be a combination of both, whereby the writer is constructing a piece that they feel they need to write, and which they believe some people will find value in reading.
Remember Your Audience is Different to You
The idea of writing for yourself and only yourself might seem odd to some people. Many might ask, why would one write for oneself when the article is intending to be published online or in print?
Say you’re writing an article for Medium.com, and you want to portray something that is important to you. It will be impossible to write for the entire Medium.com audience, and you should therefore focus on what is important to you, the general message, and a niche that a specific audience will be interested to hear about.
Remember that the majority of your potential readers are neither like you, or like each other. Every single reader is different, with opposing viewpoints and fundamentally different experiences in life. For this reason, it’s important to write for yourself, and not for others.
Key Reasons to Write for Yourself
Whether you’re writing for Medium, Business Insider or a print magazine, writing for yourself has plenty of merit. Here are some of the key reasons why you should always write for yourself.
- It Creates Your Unique Brand
When you write for yourself, you become free. You suddenly stop worrying about whether you’re writing to fit a specific niche or not, and you start creating your own brand and identity. Over a period of time, you will notice a theme and style in your writing, and this becomes your unique, literary identity.
Over time, this can help you build an audience. It sounds paradoxical, but writing for yourself can help you become a better writer for the people who read your work.
- You Become More Honest
Writing for yourself helps you stay honest, too. When you’re writing with a reader in mind, it’s easy to work in exaggerations and tell untruths that nobody will ever notice. Writing for yourself, however, means these untruths simply aren’t necessary.
Don’t worry about needing to make something sound more fascinating that it already is. You might be surprised just how interesting your story already is.
- It Makes Your Writing Instinctual
When you stop worrying about what other people might think, and you write what you think sounds right, your writing becomes instinctual. This is one of the most powerful resources a writer can have, and as soon as you learn to master that, the sooner you become a better writer.
- You Won’t Self-Censor
Writing for other people might also encourage you, or at least make you feel obliged, to self-censor. When you censor yourself, you remove potentially amazing parts of your writing, and interesting tales, anecdotes and arguments.
When you write for yourself, you become instinctual, honest, free, and unique. Take this into account the next time you write something for Medium, Business Insider or any other outlet, and you’ll produce better content. You could even seek professional assistance from UK Top Writers, and learn more about how to write for yourself.