The audience begins with me. My first goal when writing is to please myself.
I write what I want to read. I find enjoyment in solidifying the story on the page. Only then do the images line up clearly and tell the story I had within me.
The circle then stretches to include those closest to me. They are the people I care about and I want them to find enjoyment in my work because I wish them enjoyment.
The circle then stretches again to my affiliations. I want the groups I associate with to know me through my passion. I want them to be in awe of my dedication, vision, and creativity.
The circle widens more when I begin to share my work professionally with agents and publishers. I want to be recognized and have worth delivered by way of having my work accepted. By signing a deal, I know my work will see print.
Lastly, my circle reaches you, the unknown reader. Apart from random reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, I will never know you or what you thought of my story. But reaching you is the ultimate goal and you hold the power to make me a true success.
So my relationship with the audience is vital to my worth, but I want to acknowledge that it starts with me.
Any and all might decline to read my work, but the center or core is still me. When I take myself out of that center position, it’s that moment when I give power to someone else. When the publisher or agent become the sole person I am seeking to please, then I am no longer pleasing myself and I no longer see my enjoyment as carrying weight or worth. Then the rejection letter has all the power to label me a failure.
How do I keep myself from slipping into simply writing drivel? By having high expectations, by keeping goals, by continually striving for success even if I receive rejection letters.
It’s not easy acknowledging that I give other people some power. I’ve gone back up and underlined the value in this progression. Let me list them as I see them possibly happening.
Value 1: My enjoyment
Value 2: Others Enjoyment
Value 3: Respect
Value 4: Legitimacy
Value 5: Fame
I tried to take these things and line them up according to which one is the most valuable to me, and it was difficult to do. This is what I came up with.
Running with this line up, it looks like I wouldn’t care if I became properly published if my work was widely read and enjoyed.
There are people who publish online without charge and develop an audience. I’ve looked into such things, but there was a hang up – profit. I want to be able to dedicate my time to writing and right now I have a day job that eats up a lot of time.
So either I make profit a higher priority or I find a way to make money with less hours of work.
Well, it’s something to think about.