I asked Google, “What does a writer want?” I found a variety of answers. Lev Raphael says we want “Everything,” and quotes Roxane Gay saying writers “want and want and want.”
Some writers will say they want fame, others money, some just want luck. I think what a writer really wants is Audience.
Writers want what they write to be read.
But as the explosion of blogosphere and the self-publishing industry demonstrates again and again, publication does not guarantee readers. Good writing might.
Here are some ideas for finding and building an audience with a blog. None of these ideas require an advanced degree in rocket science; they all require hard work, and they’re all working for me.
- Write for your audience. (This post is for Live to Write – Write to Live readers: writers – you.)
- Say what you want with economy and grace.Like everyone else on the planet, your readers are pressed for time, so don’t waste theirs. (I aim for a post of 400-600 words.)
- Practice your craft and give your audience a polished performance. If you
were a pianist, you wouldn’t invite your audience to listen to you play scales or learn a new piece; as a writer, you don’t want to show your audience your rough draft. (This essay went through three drafts.)
- Commit to a publication schedule. While an audience may like to be surprised in the content of what you write, it also likes to know when to expect a new post. I post here every other Tuesday, and I post to my own blog every Wednesday. It’s hard work that has garnered non-monetary rewards, namely a growing audience. I have readers who look forward to my posts; I know because they tell me.
- Keep writing and other opportunities will follow. I keep writing; in addition to meeting new readers, editors I don’t know now ask me to write for them; invitations for public speaking and proposals for writing projects arrive in my inbox. I get to decide what I want to write and for whom.
I wouldn’t say no to fame and fortune, but it’s my audience who will determine that. Of course I’d like more readers, more publications, and more royalties. I believe they will come if I continue to do my job, which is to write stories that will cross that membrane between writer and reader, to engage in that intimacy that occurs when my words get under my readers’ skin, into their thoughts, and maybe even change how they think.
Deborah Lee Luskin is the award-winning author of Into the Wilderness, a love story set in Vermont during the Goldwater – Johnson presidential campaign in 1964. She blogs every Wednesday at Living in Place.
36 thoughts on “What Every Writer Wants”
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Glad you think so! Thanks for the affirmation.
Good advice Deborah!
Glad you found it helpful! Thanks so much for letting me know.
Great tips! How does writing turn into being a guest speaker?
Please read my earlier post, “Generating Income with Public Speaking” https://nhwn.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/generating-income-with-public-lectures/
Thanks for reading the blog.
That regularity and devotion to certain topics sure pays off for me! But I write longer pieces and get a god number of readers, too. I enjoy your posts, as well!
So sorry…typo–good readers, not god. Oh, dear.
Thanks. And audience matters on the short, the long, and the “comment” – it’s all about communication.
I agree with you… Writers want Audience without it, there will be no fame and money.
Thanks for the useful advice. I post every Friday, I use the scheduler feature of WordPress so that I can exactly schedule it every Friday at exactly 12noon. 🙂
Without audience, there would be no readers.
Good advice about the scheduler.
Thanks for commenting.
Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
Here is an inspirational post that talks about what writers really want
Great post, simple but so important to remember. Thank you
You’re welcome. Glad you found it helpful. Thanks for letting me know.
This is something I’ve recently made a decision on. I use to simply write for the fun of it but now I realized that I want people to see it. Not for bragging rights or anything but because if no one reads it, then it’s a disservice to the story which was created to move past just my imagination and into someone else’s.
Yes, there is a leap between writing for oneself – which can be very helpful in so many ways – and writing to reach others. Good luck in polishing your prose and captivating an audience.
Thanks for being in touch.
Thanks for reading the blog!
Reblogged this on Mysticalwriter and commented:
What every writer wants
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Ues…audience we want. Brings life to our letters and words…we want to help our world heal and be happy…writers forever romantics
That was a yes…sorry at the gym…reading yur stuff 😎
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Reblogged this on Tony Flood Blog.
Thanks for the reblog – and for reading the post.
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