I love doing AMAs because this readers’ community as a whole is so eloquent, and thoughtful. I spent an hour taking questions about writing, life, creativity, and much more. I wish I’d had time to answer even more. The Ask me Anything questions and my answers will be published in the upcoming months. Stay tuned.
Here’s a transcript of one of my favorite readers’ questions and my answer to it:
Hi Lisanne, I’m a writer/blogger myself and I also have a (small) audience of readers. I wonder whether you write with an audience in mind, and if yes, how do you make sure it’s unique and personal?
As Oscar Wilde says, “a true artist takes no notice of the public. It’s hard to not care.” And I think that’s true. If you want to create something meaningful and fulfilling, something that lasts and speaks to people, the counterintuitive but really necessary thing is that you must write for yourself first.
So for every story that I put out and every project that I commit myself to I have to be excited about the material. I have to care about it in some way. I need to be unable to fully grasp the topic which makes it interesting to put in my time there. So it’s a very necessary thing to sit with myself first, before I start to think about an audience.
In some ways writing is like a message in a bottle that you throw into sea. You’ll never know where it arrives, how it’s going to be perceived and by whom. This is actually the fun part, because I like to give people something to explore and discover. Something that sparks a conversation rather than a bunch of mereless words.
After reading The Great Gatsby around probably 3 times, I still discover something new about the story or the way it’s written. It’s so well-written and well thought out — adding layers to the story you can’t catch them all the first time.
I feel like it’s not my job to determine how the work needs to be perceived. It’s up to the audience to feel for it or not. So the end goal might be to shake things up a little bit and to create something of value. Something fulfilling, so that if that bottle is not going to be received at all, it was still worth writing it. In this weekly you can find the long answer to this question: Message in a Bottle.
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Thank you for reading. This reader’s question is part of the Ask Me Anything series. Feedback from you, the reader, is important to me. Want to ask me a question for next month? Send me yours [email protected]
Here is a list of the last 3 readers’ questions I’ve answered:
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