Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Audience, Audience, Audience
I remember very little from what I learned in high school. But if there is one thing I do remember, it is to consider one’s audience when writing. I’m not saying I do it well, I’m saying that I know it is an important if one wants to be an effective communicator.
Since the inception of my blog, I’ve thought about writing a post pondering exactly who my blog's audience is (as part of some intellectual exercise I suppose.) My greatest struggle as a writer has always been to stop writing for myself. The best writing instructor I’ve ever had always emphasized it’s the writer’s duty to help the reader understand not vice versa. Further, if you’re writing is too muddled to understand, don’t expect anyone to read it…or even care.
By definition, we already know what we think, but as writers we must write in a way for others to want to know what we are thinking. So, if I’ve got an opinion, and I want specific audiences to care, I better consider who my audience is carefully.
I also find that I am tempted to use sarcasm or hyperbole frequently when I write. I think its because people respond only when something is offensive verses slightly bothersome...or for that matter, competely agreeable. That explains the Church role in politics for the last 100 years...but that's another entry all together.
Outside of blogland, I never really know what other people think about what I think because I’m to busy talking to listen. I’m the same way when I write, I’m always ready to write what I think, make no apologies, and defend it to absolute absurdity. But that’s not productive, helpful, or appropriate…ever. I'm working on that. (If only I had the patience for myself that God has for me.)
I’ve posted an apology (on the entry) for an outright inappropriate statement in response to a comment a friend made to me about a previous post. (I think there still may be a slight hint of sarcasm in one line, but it is a sincere apology.)
My high school teachers may have been atheists, but they didn’t know something about writing. A lesson I’m still learning. Who is my audience and what are their values…
I’m still wondering who I’m writing to…
Seeing that is late, and I’ve procrastinated long enough, I should finish that paper for Steve.
If there are typos, I'm sorry.