Last night when I was visiting blogs I landed on a beautiful post written by Jodi at Joy Discovered.

In the post “Great Expectations”, Jodi shares how we often live our lives by the expectations of others and in the process, forget to live for our authentic self.

I don’t want to give “it” away, but will say, the post is well worth the read.

It was how Jodi started her post which inspired this one.

Today’s Lesson

Jodi opened her post by sharing how Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Committed came to be.

…Gilbert describes how it was difficult to write this new book because this time around, she was writing to an audience of millions, all expecting another mega hit after the super-stardom achieved by Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert wrote an entire draft of Committed with this vast crowd in mind, and then placed it in a drawer and began the book again. The second attempt was written ”for exactly twenty-seven readers,” all women (pXV). It was only in writing to this intimate group of friends and relatives that she could find her authentic voice and share her story with intention and meaning.

The part that struck me was how the book “…was written for exactly twenty-seven readers”.

Jodi goes on to say she writes as though she’s speaking to one of her good friends who lives a few states away.

If Gilbert is writing for 27 readers, and Jodi is writing for her friend a few states away, it makes me wonder, who do other bloggers write for?

We know we have an audience, but how do we envision them. After all, in many instances, they are imaginary.

As I read Jodi’s words, I questioned whom I write for.

My answer is “you”.

Sometimes I’m thinking of a specific blogger, but most of the time it is “you” as a group. You who share your thoughts in the comment section. You whom I communicate with on your blogs. Twitter and Facebook. You whom I know are reading, but not commenting.

Like Elizabeth Gilbert,  if I were to think I was blogging for the masses, my creativity would probably escape me.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

Whom do your write for?

Is it someone specific? Or a group?

Or do you just write with no audience in mind?

signature for blog post.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out Jodi’s Great Expectations post as well as the archives of her Joy Discovered blog.

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  1. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I write to share things that I am passionate about. I write to connect with a reader, any reader really.

    Sometimes I have a specific reader in mind but sometimes I just have an audience. For example, I write for teachers every Tuesday. I sometimes write for those of us in the hip-hop culture. And sometimes I write solely for myself.
    .-= Check out Chase March´s awesome post: Recommended Reads – Fables =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chase,

      You’ve brought a great point. Depending on our post topics, we may be writing for a different audience. And I’m guessing when you write for teachers you might be writing a little differently than when you write for your hip hop followers.

  2. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Great question!

    In the process of learning I haven’t defined that yet, mostly because I didn’t think of it.

    It seems a very good idea to write with someone more specific in mind that just a mass of people without faces. I guess it’ll be easier to reach people’s feelings that way.

    Thank you for this post Barbara; I learned something new for me today.

    Raul
    .-= Check out Alien Ghost´s awesome post: Blog Update =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Raul,

      Hey, I see you have a new avatar. It looks just like an alien. 🙂

      I do think it makes a difference if we can picture whom we’re writing to. Even if we envision an imaginary audience, we have “someone” to speak to.

  3. ElizaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    First, nice new look! 🙂

    I write for a bunch of women I trust who share my honesty, humour, and passion about aging gracefully.

    Of course, in reality I have no idea who these women are, or how many of them there are. But in my mind’s eye there are probably half a dozen of them, sitting in my living room, sharing some wine, laughing at ourselves, and saying “Oh! I know EXACTLY what you mean.”

    Whenever I deviate from that, my writing totally sucks and I trash the post 🙂
    .-= Check out Eliza´s awesome post: What women over 40 want to know – Top 5 posts =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Eliza,

      Mmmm wine. Yum! And….when I read your posts, I sense that. It’s like you welcome us in and make us so comfortable we willingly share our stories of aging and we all have a good time.

      You’ve mastered the knack.:)

  4. Great post! I actually just finished reading Committed and that point about her readers really stuck with me too. I actually don’t think much about who I’m writing for. In a way I’m writing to myself, trying to give myself advice. Occasionally if I put something somewhat personal in a post I’ll give it some thought to make sure I really want to put something like that out there. Other than those occasions, though, I just write!
    .-= Check out Positively Present´s awesome post: L.O.V.E.: 4 unique ways to express your love =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Dani,

      That is actually another great way to blog; like we’re talking to ourselves, trying to get the ideas cemented in our brains. I don’t know about you, but often once I write something, I end up having an “aha” moment.

  5. Usually I am writing for a few people that I always imagine sitting around the LLI kitchen table chatting.

    Just a little chat among friends. If I had to think about a million readers, I am sure I would think I would have nothing that a million people would want to hear.

    But a few good friends? Sure. That’s what friends do right? We chat.

    I can handle that.
    .-= Check out Wendi Kelly~Life’s Little Inspirations´s awesome post: Take Two In the Mirror =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wendi,

      Isn’t that amazing how that works? We know our friends are more than happy to listen to our words of wisdom, but if we begin to think we’re writing for millions, we start second guessing ourselves.

  6. Hi Barbara!
    I’m glad you picked up on this topic. I am interested in your readers’ comments and I’ll be back to read more!
    Best to you!! Jodi
    .-= Check out Jodi at Joy Discovered´s awesome post: Great Expectations =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jodi,

      I’ll see you again soon. Thank you again for the inspiration AND the fabulous post you shared.

  7. Bob FosterNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I think I have defined my audience, but I find myself not focused and writing all over the place. Since my intended audience is owners of smaller small businesses, my writing should be zeroed in on those people, but I look back at my posts and see I have written to “no one in particular.” How do you visualize your audience when you write a post—since you probably have never seen most of them? More importantly, how do you write so each reader thinks you have written just for them?

    Stimulating post Barbara, as was Jodi’s!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bob,

      Knowing your target audience is half the battle. For you, I would suggest writing as if you advising a real life friend who is the owner of a small business.

      Or, like Jodi, she pretends she’s talking to her friends who lives three states away (kind of like a telephone conversation).

      For me, I feel I know a lot of the bloggers who comment as I visit their blogs, tweet with them and communicate via Facebook or email. Although I’ve never met any of them, based on our history, I have a sense of who they are.

      I don’t think we can always succeed in making our readers feel like we’re talking to them (individually), but we can make them feel like they are “listening in” on a conversation (and are not being preached to). And that, I think, makes them want to join in and share their thoughts.

  8. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    I think of the people that comment often (whether on the blog, on Facebook, or Twitter). I just write for that small group. It makes the voice more specific. In voiceovers, although a commercial is heard by many listeners out there, the voiceover artist is often trained to think of a specific person to talk to. That way, the voice come out that much more specific, and real.
    .-= Check out Kelvin Kao´s awesome post: The End of an Era =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      I like what you’re doing. I’m sure you feel you kind of “know” your regulars and what they might want to learn or read.

      I hadn’t heard how voiceover artists are trained, but it does make sense. If the artist were to feel they didn’t have a specific person(s) to talk to, it could completely change the tone of the commercial.

  9. Hmm.. nice question! You got me thinking in there.. Well, i write for the people who care to read my post. People who can relate to whatever issues, ideas that i write. Most especially, i write to those who needs my help. 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sammy,

      Writing for those who need our help is a great way to format our posts. If we have “been there, done that”, we can often anticipate what others are experiencing, as well.

  10. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. that’s a really good point – and so interesting to read. We need to keep honest to our own selves regarding our readers.

    I started my blog based on letters I wrote out to friends and relatives regarding articles that my mother and I discussed and found interesting or amusing, which then led on to other linked articles.

    I realise that I need to adjust my posts a little – and that I’m thinking about .. but Jodi’s and your thoughts have added another honing knot into that ‘audience idea’. As you know I’m working through things at the moment …

    Thanks to you and Jodi for this post – have a good week – Hilary
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Groundhog Day, Candlemas and Jannie the First … =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      And look at you. You’re sharing your beautiful smiling face in your avatar. WooHoo!

      I love how your letters to friends and relative turned into a blog. We never know where our inspiration will come from, do we?

      As a reader of your blog, I feel like you’re now sharing your finds with me. And as you know, I ALWAYS learn something new when I visit. I like that.

  11. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    I write whatever I feel inspired to write, but what I enjoy most is how/when the writing connects more with feelings than just information. I feel satisfied when I know readers feel impacted by the words. I’d like to be able to write with more humour but haven’t been able to “make” that happen. Ya have to have a knack for that. For now, Twitter is where humour happens. Hope one day it will happen on my blog.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Book Review for “The Narcissist: A User’s Guide” =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      When I read your blog, I feel like I’m reading a page turner. You have that knack for writing that keeps me on the edge of my seat, reading and clinging onto every word. That, to me, is a real talent.

      Re: The humor. For now everyone will have to follow you on Twitter to see that side of you. 🙂

  12. Hi Barbara – I’ve never really thought about this, so you’ve perked me up with your question. I think perhaps I write first for myself. There’s a saying that goes, “you are your ideal client.” And I think there’s some truth to that. Looking back, I’ve had the best experiences with clients who want the things I do – depth, meaning, purpose, community, creativity, joy, living life with zest and gusto. And my hunch is those reading my blog want those things too. So if I stay true to myself with my writing, and don’t force it to be in another voice, then I feel like I’m writing for a whole community of people. Thanks for asking!
    .-= Check out Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s awesome post: Getting Comfortable With I DON’T KNOW =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Patty,

      What you’ve said brings another element into the conversation. I agree. When we’re true to ourselves, and write from that truth, we will attract the like minded.

      So, even if you don’t have a specific audience in mind, inevitably they will find you.

  13. CarlaNo Gravatar says:

    I really don’t write for a specific audience in mind and maybe I should. I had “audiences” I had in mind over the months I’ve been blogging, but it seems to change over time and as I mature as a blogger.
    .-= Check out Carla´s awesome post: Cherry Berry Vegan Leather Handbags =-.

  14. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Carla,

    You know, I think that happens to a lot of us. When we first start blogging, if we’re not sure who will show up to read our work, we guess. Then when readers begin to comment, we find out if we’re hitting the mark, or not.

  15. CathNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Thank you for posting this. I Asked myself a lot of these questions when I started writing online. It is very different to what I was used to. Sometimes I miss having an editor breathing down my neck.
    .-= Check out Cath´s awesome post: Film industry flowers: Oscar nominations =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Cath,

      It sounds like you came from a background where you were expected to produce content under pressure. I’m assuming you find blogging a little more relaxing.

  16. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I try and write for everyone that comes by. Not just a specific group. I figure if a picture grabs the eye, then the surfer will stop and take a peek! Then maybe they will come back to see if there is something more (which there is…).

    Is it working? It is an up and down world out there so I am just having fun and hope that that folks will pick up on the subject.
    .-= Check out Linda´s awesome post: SkyTran One Year Later =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      That’s true. Often a photo we post will catch someone’s eye, entice them to read and hopefully come back for more.

      With you blogging green, I’m guessing your audience will grow larger as more people become concerned about the environment.

  17. janiceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I’ve been back for a few days, just dipping my toes in the waters again, and what a lovely surprise – your new theme’s gorgeous!

    I write for myself because I enjoy the process, but I often feel like I’m channelling for an unseen hand. When that happens – and I know this may sound a bit New Age-y – I feel that the piece will reach the person it’s meant to connect with, the one who needs to be touched, moved, comforted, inspired or reassured.

    If I were to be more specific and try to visualise who I’m writing for, it would be still be just one reader, or if I’m chatting, it would be with the few treasured folk who’ve commented, emailed me or subscribed.

    I also have an inner censor who reminds me that local folk or dangerous perverts may be reading so that affects what I write about and informs the editing process.

    I won’t be online as much any more (that’s the theory anyway) but it’s good to know your door is always open and your bloghome always so welcoming, even if I just pop over for a silent read.
    .-= Check out janice´s awesome post: A Patchwork Post: Soup, Song and Hyacinths =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Janice,

      It’s great seeing you back in blogosphere.

      What you said does raise a good point. Even if we’re writing for a specific person or audience, it often becomes necessary to do some filtering. With our words being read by anyone who lands on our blog, often it’s not what we say, but how we say it. And, unfortunately some will take “it” the wrong way no matter how we word it.

  18. I write for other small business owners, freelancers, anyone who may be thinking of starting a business. My desire is to help business owners succeed. These are the people I write for and hope that I can make a difference in some small way.
    .-= Check out Heather Villa´s awesome post: What to do When the Ship is Sinking =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Heather,

      That’s great you have your target audience nailed down. With all of the wonderful things you share, I’ve no doubt your words are helping many.

  19. Yeah. Great topic. I love it.

    Sweet sweet Barbara and friends,

    Call me crazy but I pretend I’m writing to my sister. She is a year older than me and I’ve spent my entire life trying to get her attention. For some reason she always seems to be one step ahead of me; more friends, bigger house and funnier.

    When I paint my flowers, I paint them for her. When I draw a picture, I ask myself if she would like it. When I put up a picture on my blog, it’s us playing as little girls. When I hear a song in a film I remember us side by side on the piano seat.

    The distance seems closer in a virtual world.

    Julie
    .-= Check out Julie Angelos´s awesome post: 8 life hacks to turn your end of semester blues into all the colors of the rainbow. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Julie,

      That’s so sweet you pretend you’re writing for you sister. You mentioned “distance”. Am I right in assuming you and her live far apart? And…. does she read your blog? If so, I’m sure your words mean a lot to her.

      And I’m guessing she probably looks up to you too, for your qualities.

  20. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! Jodi’s (I call her Joydi) post inspired me too!!! We could ALL do a post on expectations and they would all be different!

    As I said to her, I learned more about this “audience” thing from painting – and then brought it over to my writing. In art, the minute I started painting what I THOUGHT people wanted (that old commercialization thing to sell, you know) my art lost its soul. The paintings were missing something, just plain old outright soul-less. Nice, but………so I gessoed over them and started fresh, painting what came to me, no big plan, just free flowing. Sold a lot!

    So I look back on my writing – when I worked for the newspaper oh how blah it was – of course that’s what “they” wanted – no controversy, no personality, no humor (OMG!) just factual reporting. The free-lance arena was better, but still there was a bit of constraint, a few rules, and of course it HAD to be for the magazines audience. I call that “appropriate” writing.

    Now the blog? Oh mercy, I write totally free, any topic, funny or serious, personal or not. I may think of somebody while I’m writing, even mention them in the post, (how lovely to feel one has friends who read your “stuff”!) but still, I write from the heart without any particular person in mind. I feel like if I’m being upbeat, encouraging, funny or whatever, whoever NEEDS this at the moment is my audience. As long as I write what I believe and remain true to who I am, it feels right. I must say though, I LOVE how Gilbert narrowed hers – obviously it had way more soul. Her sales reflect that! 🙂

    As long as we remain open, we can get inspired from one another in the most serendipitous ways! Yay blogging! And YAY for YOU, Barbara!
    Hugs
    suZen

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Suzen,

      I LOVE your name for Jodi – Joydi. That’s perfect.

      I’m so happy you shared your story about your paintings and writing career. What you said is so true. When we don’t put our heart into our work or hobbies, it shows and ends up looking like any ‘ol run of the mill painting, article, book or blog post, product or service.

      How fortunate we are you started blogging as we get to read your words of wisdom,humor and other postings. I’ll bet you feel like a ton of bricks has lifted and you’re now FREE.

  21. DaphneNo Gravatar says:

    I also loved Jodi’s post. I write for me. I wrote for the tiny possibility that someone will gain strength from my experiences as I have from the ones I read. Thanks for asking, Barbara.
    .-= Check out Daphne´s awesome post: So Close =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Daphne,

      With you having a desire to help others with your words, undoubtedly that will be the outcome. Keep doing what you’re doing. I believe you’re reaching more people than you imagine.

  22. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I write for the non-martial artist and those who haven’t had training in physical, mental, and emotional self defense, but who want to learn. Sometimes I write with a relative in mind, but mostly for an audience who needs to feel empowered … right now.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      And you do that so well. I know from just visiting your blog and reading not only your posts but your free ebook, I’ve gained mental and emotional strength. Plus, I feel I’m more equipped to defend myself, if I have to.

      My hope is everyone finds your blog as what you share can definitely save lives.

  23. Hi Barbara,

    That was a great post by Jodi and it is interesting to know how Gilbert handled writing “Committed”.

    As for your question, I just write what comes to my heart. If I were to write for an audience or a large group, it would make me self-conscious and that would get in the way of writing.

    I find if I just go with my heart, the words have a way of flowing.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: Closing an Old Book & Starting a Brand New One =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia.

      You’re right. Writing from our heart is the perfect way to produce the best results. Isn’t it amazing how when we let go, the words just come out. It’s like, “where did THAT come from?”.

  24. DotNo Gravatar says:

    My answer is pretty much the same as yours.

    I really like the way you’ve customized the theme! Great job — I love the little pen above the comments, for example.
    .-= Check out Dot´s awesome post: Comment on Of Snow and Groundhogs and Pandas by Jannie Funstet =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dot,

      It’s pretty easy to envision our audience when we they feel so familiar to us, hey?

      Thank you for the compliments on my customization. I got the idea of the “pick up the pen…” from Barb Hartsook on her Over Coffee blog and then shrunk the pen from the top of the theme and added it here. Oh what fun!

  25. I totally write for myself! Although I guess I do have a group of like-minded women in mind when I write, which is why I’m always genuinely surprised when some guy responds with a hateful, women-loathing comment (I delete those comments).
    .-= Check out vered | professional blogger´s awesome post: Post Baby Body: Stop it Already! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      That’s interesting that a man would take the time to leave a hateful comment on your “mommy” blog. I’m with you. I’d delete them, too.

  26. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    Hi All.
    I am totally in agreement with Eliza.
    My blog is part of Women Like Me, so my writing is like talking intimately to women like me and when I do not, my posts are terrible just like Eliza’s. Isn’t that funny.
    I also love what SuZen says about her painting.
    This is actually a great analogy for life, if we do things from our heart it flows and when we do not, it is a struggle.
    Your teaching reaches beyond blogging, Barbara, that is what good teachers do :~)
    Love Wilma
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: Ann-Marie on ‘I don’t know’ so I say STOP =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Wilma,

      We sure do learn a lot, don’t we? Like you said, following our heart not only applies to blogging, but extends into our real lives, as well.

      It’s like this is the “secret” of a successful blog and it’s something that’s often overlooked.

  27. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I write for myself as it has always been. I want to be heard and I love to be in a part of a conversation. I think sometimes too when a group of us were re-publishing Elizabeth Cady Stantion’s the WOMEN S BIBLE and the study guide. We used to get together on Friday afternoon and everyone brought potluck items and we spent the weekend together hashing out the possibilities, issues and questions…I am hungry for that lovely discussion and conversation too when I write.

    Last year one time Vered wrote a comment that just boosted my spirits and I tried to repeat the post in various ways….I realized I was writing for Vered’s approval and had lost my voice….

    Lately I have been wondering if folks still have discussions and conversations any more….my daughter said they just did that at the Oregon beach this past week with a group of friends they had not seen for a year…getting back together and really pushing each other about what they had learned, politics, job hunting and what they wanted to do….I had envy.

    My comment luv is not working correctly…now I need to go and fix it…OH IT Girl…..

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      What you’ve said is VERY true. We write to be heard. And in real life, we hope the words we speak will be heard, too.

      I like how you shared how you figured out you were writing trying to get Vered’s approval and realized you had lost your voice in the process. I see how that could easily happen.

      Good luck with getting your CommentLuv fixed.

  28. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    I write primarily to know my take on different things. There’s something about writing that gives clarity to your thoughts. Some need to be coaxed out piece by piece. Other just blurt out from inside you. It’s in the revision stage that I ask myself, “What would my friend A say to this? Have I made myself clear for her? Will she thump her fists on the table, and say, “Bollocks, you’re way over your head here, dude.” And so I revise here and there. In that stage, I need to convince my friends if only in my head. I need their grudging approval. After all, writing is a performance and your friends – bless them – can give you an honest appraisal. All in that imaginary virtual meeting in your head.
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: When a Question Is the Answer =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      You’ve put that so eloquently, and you’re right. We often write to get validation…from whomever is willing to listen and comment. And, If someone knows us well enough to tell us we’re in over our heads, that’s even better.

  29. Great questions, Barbara. I’m so happy to have stumbled upon your blog….blogrolling you 🙂
    Thanks and regards
    Corinne
    .-= Check out Corinne Rodrigues´s awesome post: Welcome 2010! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Corinne,

      Thank you and welcome to Blogging Without A Blog. I hope to see you often. Feel free to join in the conversation and share your thoughts.

      P.S. I’ll be by to check out your blog, too. 🙂

  30. JackNo Gravatar says:

    it makes me wonder, who do other bloggers write for?

    I write for myself first and everyone else second. My blog is a collection of posts about life as a father and man about town. It is where I share thoughts and ideas about these things and learn about myself.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love to learn about others.I love the interaction and opportunity to find out something more about life through the thoughts and ideas of those I encounter.

    That is the advantage of a writing a personal blog. I have more flexibility in what I write than a professional/business blog. I hope that people get something out of it. I am always pleased when they do, but I write for me and then for you.
    .-= Check out Jack´s awesome post: A Restaurant Surprise =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jack,

      One thing about writing for ourselves is by putting our thoughts “out there” we’re not only releasing them, but in the process may find others who feel exactly the same.

      And you’re right; a personal blog does give more flexibility than a business or professional blog would.

  31. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    Every time I visit you have a new look site.
    One thing that’s not changed is the number of comments you get and the quality of those comments.

    Not sure how many people I write for. Guess I’m writing as though I was giving advice to a single person and hoping that it applies to lots of others.

    Have you seen John Hoffs video on RSS? – he mentions your site a few times – well done Barbara
    .-= Check out Keith Davis´s awesome post: Practice, practice, practice… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Keith,

      Hopefully I will stick with this theme for a long time. As I mentioned in the previous post, it took me nearly three years to find just the right one.

      You know, when we write as if we’re talking to one person, or a small group, it seems like what we’re sharing ends up resonating with an even larger group. Just as Elizabeth Gilbert found out, her voice was different when she changed how she envisioned her audience.

      I have not seen John’s video. I’ll have to go by and check it out. Thank you for the heads up.

  32. Dearest Barbara,
    Youre always so wise with your questions (no wonder youre a darling teacher 😉 )
    As for who i write for hmmm…I guess when i started it was for me. I write for all things that touch me and I have the itch to just write.
    I have often wondered whether i should write what people want me to wrote(after reading all that blogging advice out there to get more readers!)..or should i write what i want to write…
    I went with my heart…I feel good that there is an audience out there that is touched by my writing..somehow makes the connection with the readers stronger…
    I have noticed if i am writing to satisfy someone it always turns out crap…although i mightve tried so hard to make it perfect….ironic isnt it…that when we try too hard it just crumbles..This is why i think going with the heart is so much better…for me and for my readers…:)
    Much love,
    Z~
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: RAOKA: The Gratitude Ritual =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Zeenat,

      That’s very wise of you; to go with your heart and not with what “they” say. As you’ve eluded to, when we try too hard to please others, if it doesn’t feel right, then the words don’t flow either.

      And…our readers can tell if we’re not being true to ourselves, too.

  33. KatharinaNo Gravatar says:

    I write for the sparrow with the broken wing. For those like me, that when you think of a bird, it’s not the first one that comes to mind. Not the most beautiful, largest, wisest, or most interesting. I am the sparrow, that has lived life, broken my wing and had to take time to nurture the me part, to heal my wounds as well as my perspective of life beyond myself. As the sparrow, I may be plain, but I am strong in spirit, energetic for life, brave amongst those more brillantlly plumed in mind and body. I can soar like the eagle, committ to relationships as the swan, endure all seasons, and see life as the wise owl. I am all women, I am the sparrow, I am you.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Katharina,

      You put that so eloquently. The writer in you shines through.

      I have to ask, do you have a blog? If so, I’d love to read more of your work.

  34. I do think it makes a difference if we can picture whom we’re writing to. Even if we envision an imaginary audience, we have “someone” to speak to.

  35. MaryseNo Gravatar says:

    I write what needs to come out. I’m new to blogging so I do not think in terms of pleasing anyone. I do pay attention how clear my piece is, though. I want readers to ‘get it’. What a wonderful problem to have: to choose to write for 27 instead of millions! Hope we all get there one day. 🙂
    Maryse
    .-= Check out Maryse´s awesome post: RIPPLES…INTERRUPTED. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Maryse,

      Being new to blogging, you’re on the right path. And you’re right, we can’t please everyone. If you stay clear on your message, I feel you’ll attract an audience for whom your words will resonate.

  36. KarenNo Gravatar says:

    Great post for me to find today, thanks! I also write my post as a journal or diary that I am sharing with my bffs. Its really fun when they tell me that they felt inspired or understood my frustration about something or even learned about something (the best!). I look forward to reading “Committed” and reading Jodi’s blog too! 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Karen,

      That is the best part, isn’t it? When what we share helps others. It also tells us we’re not alone in what we are experiencing. Having another person validate our feelings helps to remind us we’re not alone.

  37. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’m still reading here and playing catch up. This post did make me stop and consider who I am writing to or for. Like another person said, I guess it depends on the content. As you’ve seen, my blog is quite a mixture of topics. Today I tug at people’s hearts and wallets to encourage donations to the Food Bank, while at the same time telling them that restaurant gift certificates are on sale. And as always, on Monday I post my quote of the week. My daily chatter is directed at anyone who stops to read it, while the money saving and couponing is directed toward the frugal set.

    Occasionally I just write silly posts like my Lunar Vacation stories. I knew when I started that I just wanted to write about what moved me at the moment. I guess the bottom line is to entertain, inform and share stories of family and friends.

    Still reading…

    Linda

  38. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Linda,

    By the sounds of it, you’re writing for a large audience and one thing about having a non-niche blog, you’re able to do that without confusing your readers.

    I like what you said about writing about what moves you. It’s often those kind of posts where we end up writing from the heart and the content may resonate with more readers than we expected.