“For whom do you write?” That’s the provocative question that Janie posed at Colloquium. I decided to ask that question of my Muse — that “inner child” of mine who is the inspiration for my creativity. Ask a
silly question question of a silly person, and here is what you get.
OK, Muse. For whom do we write?
What’s do you mean “we,” Kemosabe? I’m the one who does all the real work around here. All you do is type.
That’s not true! And besides, you are forgetting that we are the same person!
We are NOT! We aren’t the same at all! YOU have forgotten how to be “childlike.”
I have not!
OK, you are right. You still act like a child.
Stop it! I’m asking a serious question here: for whom do we write?
I don’t know about you, but I write for chocolate.
*sigh* Seriously, Muse. Janie thinks that no matter what we say we are writing for our audience. I think I write for myself. I write for the love of writing.
Not true. If you wrote for the love of writing you wouldn’t censor me. I wrote that great post about drag queens the other day and you deleted it!
I did that for the love of my audience. I didn’t want to offend anyone.
No, you just write to please people. If you “loved” your audience, you would write stories that caused them to step outside of their comfort zone. You would trust them.
Hey! Stop it, Muse!
Oops. How did that get in here?
I’m trying to be serious here!! Answer the question!
Can we dress up like pirates? I wanna wear my new pirate boots.
After you answer the question. You are hurting my feelings! All I want to know is: For whom do we write?
Aw, Shel, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. OK, I’ll tell you why and for whom you write (because I have to admit that I wouldn’t be here without you). Shelly, you write for both the audience and for yourself. You like to make people laugh and make them think. You tell it all in your Texas twang … even though you really don’t talk like that unless you want to, because you think you connect better with the audience when you talk as if just two of you are in the room.
And, no matter how much I tease you about it, you really do have a childlike wonder. When you find something new, you want to share. You are like a little kid who has found an interesting bug, calling to your friends, “Hey, y’all! Lookit!”
But, you also write for yourself, because storytelling is in your blood. Heck, you talk stories in your sleep, so you have to tell stories whether you have an audience or not!
You think so, Muse?
Yeah. And, you also write because the page is blank and you don’t know how to draw. And you write to make up for the fact that your little sister never let you get a word in edgewise, and you…
That’s enough! You can stop there.
Great. Now can I wear my new pirate boots?
There you go, but you don’t look like Johnny Depp.
That’s OK. I was going for the Keith Richards look since you have all those wrinkles.
Well, I guess that’s what the Muse has to say about it all. These are the questions that Janie asked, “For whom do you write? How do you ascertain the identity of your target audience? How do you gear your writing to that group? ” I was afraid to go ask the rest of them of my Muse. Lord knows what she might have said. If you’d like to address those questions, check in at Colloquium and let Janie know your answers. I hope yours are better than mine!