7 Things To Remember When Writing For An Audience

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1. Be unapologetic.

2. Re-read what you’ve written until you can see the words swimming before you with your eyes shut. And then read it three more times. During this process, make sure that you have managed to capture EXACTLY what you want to say. Don’t post it, submit it, or publish it until you’re sure it does.

3. But once you’re absolutely sure your inner musings have met this requirement, post it to your heart’s content and stick to your guns. Not everyone will agree with you, or like what you have to say, but they don’t have to. Unless it’s being published in a scientific review journal, it’s your truth that you wish to share with others. You don’t necessarily think it’s an absolute truth, (or maybe you do, whatever), but it’s your truth. So defend it to the death. Publishing something opinionated or personal online is basically the same as giving the middle finger to the (online) world. There’s a little bit of badass in each one of us hiding behind our keyboards, so stay true to that portion of your inner self that is a badass. No matter how small.

4. It can be absolutely petrifying, sending one of your pieces off into the dark abyss that is Internet publishing, or publishing, period. It’s equivalent to sending a first-born child off to the first day of school, like sending off a portion of your soul. Will they like it? And oftentimes, for a writer, that question is synonymous to, will they like me? It’s the ultimate test of acceptance. Are my ideas novel enough? Original enough? Popular enough? Is my inner dialogue amusing enough? Am I enough?

5. At the same time, be open to criticism. Don’t take it too personally. If you do, you’ll probably end up drinking more than Ernest Hemingway ever did. Criticism is the writer’s version of getting in shape. Just as we strive for improvement in our bodies and characters in real life, writers also strive for improvement in the way our minds shape our words. Take courage. If you’re too afraid to send it off, you’ll never improve or grow. I’ll just use this example, (for the millionth time); what if J.K. Rowling gave up the first time she was rejected? Or the second time? Or the third? Or the twelfth? We would have no Harry Potter, that’s what. And tell me it wouldn’t be a dark world without Harry Potter.

6. People might be cruel about it (as people tend to be), especially cloaked in the anonymity of the internet, but respond with as much grace and dignity that you can muster, and be able to walk away from the encounter — no matter how painful or personal the attack may seem — knowing that you are capable of being the better person, being the more mature person, because you created something. You know magic and your mind spun something golden, and beautiful, and new into existence.

7. Always ask yourself the image that you wish to portray to the world. I know it sounds dramatic, but in today’s constantly accessible technological world, it’s the truth. What you post online — everything you put your name to — results in an amalgamation of impressions of you that anyone can access, no matter what your privacy settings are on Facebook. TC mark

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