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By Johannes Helmold

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You may think I’ve gone crazy or something, but being an infamous amateur writer is sometimes better than being a renowned writer with hundreds of thousands of readers (well, I’ve never been that popular, so I’m guessing). The reason I think this way is that young writers are often more ambitious—and what is even more important—less dependent on public opinion.

stoneking about audience of writer

In fact, famous writers may, rather often, face a dilemma: writing for themselves—exactly the way they want—or writing for their audience, which is connected to different limitations. I believe most influential and famous novels and stories were written by their authors not to match their audiences’ expectations, but to express ideas those authors had.

However, when an author’s first novel suddenly (and unexpectedly) becomes popular, he or she may face the situation when he or she feels obliged to write in a way that would satisfy their readers. When you are an author with a large audience, you may be afraid to write something different from what has brought you success. You will feel like you must not disappoint your readers, and so, instead of writing what touches your soul, you start guessing what readers would like or dislike. This is one of the straightest ways to the hell of writer’s block.

When you get trapped this way, writing will become a torment. In the best case, you will spend your efforts omitting underwater stones (often imaginary), and your novels will become insipid and cliche. The worst case scenario is when you cannot write a line because of the fear of critics, loss of popularity, publishers’ rejections, and so on.

Relax. A dog barks, a caravan keeps moving. Just keep this picture in mind: you are the caravan. It is your writing, your story, and your ideas. People who criticize you the most will soon get back to their chips and soda in front of the TV. Why would you care about them? The opinion of other good writers do matter if it’s constructive; otherwise, do as you wish and write what you like.

Contemplate your self. If you feel that a dependency on your audience is a possible reason why you have writer’s block, then the shortest way out of it is to write what you want, and don’t pay heed to the rest of the world.

Sincere writers find their devoted fans. Those who write for the public won’t last long.

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