This isn’t so much of a tip as good sound advice. It’s also not strictly for writers, but all artists regardless of their art form. I’m a writer, and offer writing tips from time to time. That’s the reason I’m addressing my fellow writers in the title. However, this is advice for all artists. The best advice I can give is write for you. Create for you.
Forget about target audiences. Throw out the demographics. Your main audience is an audience of one. That lone individual is you. Remember the saying, “you can’t please all the people all the time.” It’s an old saying that’s been around forever and is true. You can’t create with other people in mind. The exception being if you’re doing something for one specific person. Don’t create for a crowd you can’t guarantee will appear. If you write something you like, chances are other people will too. If you write for a crowd and are doing so for fame and money trying to cash in on the “big thing,” people can tell. It’ll come off forced. If you don’t like it and aren’t a fan, it comes across and won’t be as good as it could be. You’ve wasted your talent, and people might not want to give your work another look the next time. Also, by the time you’ve created the work for the “big thing,” it might not be so big anymore. It’ll be yesterday’s news. The next “big thing” is on the scene.
Legendary pro wrestling manager Jim Cornette once described the four audiences for wrestling. He’s absolutely right, but his analogy works for any art form, subject, whatever. I’ll do my best to summarize. The first audience is small and will always be there. They love something so much and can’t enough, or want to bitch about how they can do better. The second audience is more of a medium sized crowd. If they see something gaining steam, and is good, they’ll give it a chance. If it’s getting press on blogs and other social media, or rating good and getting recommendations. You can’t predict the third audience. They want the number one best-seller. The celebrity book club endorsement. The Hollywood box office blockbuster. They want the “big thing,” and they’ll move to the next. They aren’t true fans. The last audience doesn’t matter at all. Whatever you do or offer them, they don’t want. They want something else. They want anything but what you have, and they aren’t coming. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. Remember the old saying, and we are all members of this audience on more than one occasion. If you write for you and it’s good, you have a shot at the second audience. You can’t get the “golden” third audience without them carrying you towards the top. You might not get the third audience at all, remember that.
I hope I’ve given my fellow writers, my fellow artists, my fellow creative minds helpful advice. If you don’t like it, how can you expect anyone else to like it? Don’t chase the “big thing,” or try to predict the next one. Write something you like. It could be the next “big thing,” but probably not. It doesn’t matter. What matters is you like what you’ve done and are proud to put your name on it.
Copyright © Drew Martin 2016