Limiting Your Audience, On Purpose

I recently picked up a book on memoir-writing... one of those Learn a New Skill for Dummies kinds of books. I'll admit I'm a sucker for the easily accessible format of these books. Some of my favorite books over the past few years have been memoirs (mostly by Donald Miller), and there are plenty more memoirs on my reading list for the next few months.

One of the things about the Dummies book really struck me, and it was the concept that people sometimes write memoirs because they need to get all their experiences and ideas out of their heads. It doesn't have to be as life-altering as a tell-all from a world-class athlete or an insider to a major scandal. People just want to be able to share experiences in coherent ways.

I remember when I first read Care Russell-Cole's blog advocating the need to Write Your Life Story. At the time, I didn't think it as being a necessity in my life, but I applauded anyone who felt it important. Now, though, I increasingly see the purpose of sharing life lessons learned to others who may be going through similar circumstances.

Whether Your Writing Is "Worthy" of the Effort

Just because you write a story or a book doesn't mean you have to publish it for the entire world. Sometimes you need to create just for the sake of creating. Make art because you can.

I've always had this notion that everything I write could go on to impact a huge amount of people, but I see the benefit of deliberately writing for much smaller audiences. I think it's part of the appeal behind social media services like Snapchat: the message is here for now for the intended audience, and then it's gone. It's not something that will linger out there on the Internet forever.

Whether your audience is just yourself (journaling) or a select group, you can take on the challenge of creating without the need to risk the type of harassment that can come through channels like YouTube or other anonymous commenting systems.

Don't let the fear of an unintended audience's response keep you from creating. Your work isn't for them anyway.