Writing for an Audience or for Yourself?

looking over shoulderHave you ever noticed an audience standing in the room with you as you write?   I have and it makes me lose track of the plot and, sometimes, the character voices.  It’s not a good thing and makes editing/rewriting a nightmare.

So the other day, I thought:  What if I’m the audience?  What if I write to please me?  Some people might consider this as a limited audience and a bad thing.  On the other side of the argument, if someone (me) is passionate about what gets written, doesn’t that make for a better story?  Better read?  Better everything?

Now, I don’t think one should only write things in a certain genre or for only your (the writer’s) age group.  No, no, no.  What I am saying is to stop the thoughts of  “what if those people don’t like it” or “I wonder if they’d like this better if…”  Yeah, that kind of mental chatter that loops you in circles and you end up with a piece of work that resembles a patchwork quilt.  Do what you feel works for the story, but be honest with yourself and with your story.  See it in your head as it’s laid out… would YOU want to see this on the big screen and do YOU think it’d really work up there?  Let the criticism/feedback come later; not while you create and hone that masterpiece.

Today, I give myself permission to write for myself and find that the creative flow doesn’t get interrupted as much.  It’s become more fun.  Yes, there are still rules that I adhere to and I still get my stuff read by others, that’s a given.  The figurative bunch of people who used to stand behind me, looking over my shoulder while I created… I tossed them out.  I’m free now and so is my creativity!