Dear Writers, Who Do You Write For?


‘You should write, first of all, to please yourself. You shouldn’t care a damn about anybody else at all. But writing cant be a way of life, the important part of writing is living. You have to live in such a way that your writing emerges from it.’ ~ Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing was one of my fave writers going into my twenties, and I completely agree with that last line of the quote.

As to who I write for– I write the first draft primarily for myself, sometimes even the second or the third. But the later drafts almost always have a reader in mind.  Not all readers, but one reader, someone I know or imagine, the kind of person who would be interested in such a story.

Sometimes my ideal reader is my betta fish!

What about you? Who do You write for?

Betta fish writing

Who Do You Write For?

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148 thoughts on “Dear Writers, Who Do You Write For?

  1. Sometimes I write just to write, other times it is to vent. Venting by writing is easier than verbally at times. I have said that I write to give my thoughts a voice, I would eventually like to publish my poetry and a collection of my blogs. Sometimes I blog just to give the voice to my random thoughts, sometimes it’s a particular thought or idea or even event. I do have a blog about insurance, so there is something specific there. I think writing our thoughts is a form of therapy, though sometimes when I get into certain areas/memories it becomes too painful still to finish so I just go with something else.

  2. I write to please myself after first. If I can’t enjoy what’s splurging from my imagination, how can anyone else? I see blogs about people trying to promote “how to blogs” or “order my next novel coming out…” I think a lot of writers forget why they blog, or atleast what a blog is meant for. I blog to satisfy my inner self and to be able to look back at what happened throughout the week. It could be something I use in a novel I’m writing. If I get a few followers along the way, cool, but that’s not my main objective to writing. It’s my inner peace to this world. Love your posts! Enjoyed them thoroughly! :)

  3. Because I have some followers who know me personally, I’m sometimes tempted to write in a manner that I know would appeal to them, so I have to correct that trajectory whenever I catch myself doing it.

  4. At this early point (as I work on my first novel) I’m writing for me. In fact the plot of the first half of the book is completely taken from fantasies I’ve used to fall asleep to for months now. I have trouble imagining who else I might be writing for at this point, but hopefully I’ll determine that as I keep refining what I’m writing.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    We might write for ourselves but it always feels nice to know someone out there read and reacted. Love your commitment to the daily ‘rite’. Looking forward to interacting more!

  6. I typically get the question: What do you write about? I hear myself answer and I sound flighty. “Pick a topic and stick to one!” I imagine they are thinking. And, inevitably, “What a fraud.” It is my dirty little secret that I write for the pleasure not for the purpose. It is my dirty little lie that I write to change minds.

  7. Such a nice way of putting it. So many times I have written something, typing it out furiously and even hit publish. But then I have also gone back so many times and edited or entirely removed certain parts. This most certainly means that the first version was what I wrote for myself and the subsequent ones foe some readers. Although, I shouldn’t be worrying too much at this point since I have very few readers. And just 2 regular readers. :D

  8. At first, when I started a blog I didn’t know what to write about. That was mostly because I was trying to figure out the interests of majority of the possible readers. It was only recently that I realised that I need to write for myself. Now writing is growing on me because I let go of my fear that no one would be interested. I’m happy about that, and I hope to continue growing.

  9. I write for myself and for the most part have only ever written for myself. Not only am I my only guaranteed reader, but I write knowing that I am going to have to read what I have written many, many times. If I don’t like what I read I am not going to be able to proof it properly. But even more, if I don’t like what I have written, how could I ever expect anyone else to?

  10. I write for the monkey. It’s like the song ‘Coffee':
    No-thing!,
    Can get this bean off my back!!

    Only it’s not a bean, it’s a monkey. Maybe it’s Donkey Kong. At any rate, it is a new torture for my soul. Only write because it’s a nervous energy that courses through my heathen veins until it is either released by slaving over a teeny tiny keyboard or I treat it like a good drinking session by sleeping it off.

    I’d rather not write, but unless I do this thing, I seesaw through a day or two until the craing fades.

    Hey, thanks for the follow. :)

  11. I write because if I don’t, my story ideas will pile up inside my head and make my brain splatter against the inside of my skull. Plus, it’s really nice to be writing, and when people ask you what you’re doing, you say, “just writin’ a novel.”

    I don’t really envision my reader much… Is that bad?

  12. Loved this. I have been asking myself the same question and hoping that people would start reading my new blog and if no one did, should I continue and my answer is yes. Ultimately I write for myself but I really hope others will read it also so thanks for signing up for mine!

  13. I write for me myself and I. Like you said, maybe the first draft or even to the third draft. But eventually I write for my target audience. Will they like this book? It could just be for friends and family. I may not even publish it on Amazon.

    Thanks for following my blog Damyanti. I really appreciate.

  14. I write for The Drive, that urge inside. Then, I write for myself, to impress my wife (my entire life is an elaborate plan to woo her), my late Pop, my sons (if they ever read it- lol), my former students (to show them the dream continues), and, most importantly, to those generous enough to read my earlier work, as a thank you for their faith.
    How’s that?

  15. I write to keep myself motivated and inspired. It is also kind of nice to look back and see how much I’ve changed or accomplished. I really like this article and very much agree with it. Although the last part reminded me of my blue Betta fish, Martin, who just recently passed away. R.I.P. Fishy Smishy.

  16. It’s amazing how timely reading your post is for me. I thought I wrote for myself until I allowed others to cut me off at the knees. I’m starting anew with, I am determined, a polished sense of what this is all about. And thanks, by the way, for visiting my new blog.

  17. I definitely have learned to write (and do everything else I do) for “myself”. By that I mean that I’ve come to believe that the meaning of my spiritual existence is to be myself as purely as I can be and the results will serve the world. In practical terms that means that I do what I do in the way that I do it and other people like me will appreciate and respond to it. You can’t please all of the people all of the time so I don’t try to do that. I sing at the world and the right ears will hear my tune.

    As for living in a way that you have something to write about, I agree with that whole heartedly. I like to say “Yes” to as much as I can: party invitations, adventures, conversations with strangers, opportunities in general. Saying Yes always adds to my experience and that helps me understand and write about life. When I was in my early 20s I remember wanting to write, but feeling in my gut that I wasn’t ready, that I didn’t have enough to write about yet. I feel like I was right for then and I don’t feel that way anymore. Now I feel like I’m overflowing.

  18. Thanks for visiting my writing site. I’m lucky because it brought me to your post.

    As to your question, a variation. I write as an expression of myself and have discovered that in the telling of stories, my story is everyone’s story at some level. So as I write for myself, I write for everyone else, what perhaps they cannot express, but I can express for them. That inter-connectedness brings the expression of writing to life. When I started writing I used to call it “dictation” as it felt channeled rather than actually originating with me. I know I’m writing at my best when it feels like dictation.

    Happy New Year to all writers!

  19. I write, first, for myself. To make sense of things, to explore emotions, to discover the world around me, to find out what the truth is for me. I usually don’t think of what others think or will say about my story. I mostly write in English and it’s my third language.This is why I take care make it understandable for others. My drama teacher always say to us that when we are on stage we “express, don’t impress.” So I try to express my emotional truth and hope that it will resonate with others.

    Thanks for visiting my site and for following. Looking forward to reading more of your work! Cheers.

  20. I write stories I would like to read myself. I don’t imagine others reading them. That would probably block my writing. No, when I’ve written a story and I like it, I can let go of it and trust that there will be others who like it as well.

  21. I write entirely and solely for myself, simply because I am the reader I want to have. Which, unfortunately, means that I all too often write unpublishable (in the current climate) material. But that is not an issue normally, especially as I am a slow slow writer.

  22. Most of a times, I write for myself. Because when I begin to thinking about my audience, I get nervous and tense, so it’s easer for me just thinking about the people after I wrote the story. :)

  23. I write for myself, my future, my people, my world, etc. I just imagined how proud I’ll be when I show my writings to my children someday :)

    “Spoken words flay away, written words remain.” Caius Titus said.

  24. Saw that u liked my post – the poetry conjecture…. :-) Lessing got it right, at least for production of the greatest written art. I had to start writing something “significant” since I could not find stimulating enough books to read, including Lessing’s!!!

  25. I’d have to say it’s a bit of both for me. I started my blog to improve my writing and figured the only way to get better at something is to do it. Now that I’ve started gathering a very humble following. I write with them in mind. In person I like to make sure when people leave my presence they feel empowered and inspired and I guess I want people to feel that way when they leave by blog page also. If one person is inspired by my writing, I feel as if I’ve reached my writing goal. Loving your blog. You’re inspiring me!

  26. I write because I can. Not so sound haughty about this statement, but it is natural for us humans to express by written text or diagrams. Even the cave woman had left some details behind for us to “read” into. Sound, taste, smell, pain, love and anger have their own ways to find a physiological entry and exit. Words however can go beyond these and bring out the deepest of our inner worlds and the only method of exit is language.
    Cutting the story short: For me, writing is an ultimate exit, a basic psychological release of emotions.

  27. Pingback: Dear Writers, Who Do You Write For? | Whitman's Barbaric Yawp...Sometimes, It's More Like My Buffy Grrrr Arrrrr

  28. Interesting question. Without having read other people’s responses, I’d like to add my two-cent’s worth, and since I’m in a holidaying mood, I’m doing this with my tongue firmly in my cheek.
    Why I write:
    1. Because I can. Got books, got working brain, got blog, got wi-fi. Done.
    2. Because every action results in a different reaction. When I see something lovely, or moving, I want to spout poetry. When I see bad business writing, I want to rewrite it. When I read a book, I want to say something about it, so I write a review. Unfortunately I have no stories in me that would make me want to write a novel. I just write a lot of reviews.
    3. Because I need to analyse what people write to keep my “bull-dust” and “hokum” detectors sharp. I don’t just suck up what I read. I think about it. I analyse it. Sometimes I reject it, sometimes I accept it, sometimes I think about it until I get a headache.
    4. Because I need to practice using (British) English – properly. I like to speak and write it beautifully, and correctly, like an educated person.
    5. Because I like to thumb my nose at the literary establishment, who, like those who adjudicate the authenticity and value of art, are sometimes frightful old humbugs. They’re not the only ones who can review books. I can, you can, we all can, la-la-la.
    6. Because I have an axe to grind with reviewers who are lazy and write banal, obtuse, unmotivated, unoriginal, thumbs-up/thumbs-down type of reviews. This makes all reviewers, especially bloggers, look bad. The point is, what you think, you express in writing. If you are a confused bunny, you will write confused bunny-like things. That is so unflattering.
    7. Because, ultimately, it’s the natural obligation of readers to write about that they read as a form of meta-cognition. Hah. What I mean is, evolved human beans think about their thinking. A critical audience, who thinks, talks and writes about what they read, is essential to the continued production of good literature and the maintenance of a receptive, buying market. If no-one write and talks about books, no-one will buy them. They will be like Betamax tapes, redundant in both form and application.

  29. Writing for myself is what I am doing at the moment with my blog (two years now). It’s slowly growing day by day, week by week like a seedling on a window sill. Thanks for following my blog. I am humbled and delighted.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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