Since I was a young child I have always been told to be something else, or that I was something I wasn’t. And since I was a young child I’ve been trying to keep the voices that were telling me those things happy by doing what they said.
I was too quiet, so I tried to be louder. Now I’m too loud and they tell me to shut up.
I didn’t eat enough to keep a bird alive so I shoved the food down my throat until I gagged on it. Now I’m too fat and need to stop eating so much.
I was told I was a slob (I wasn’t) so I behaved accordingly. I was told I was lazy. I was told I was stupid both because of who I am and because I am a female.
There is much more, but I’m pretty sure you get the picture by now.
My one escape from all of this garbage has always been my writing. That is the thing I have always tried to do for myself. The few times I have tried to write what I thought would please others, it has been very unpleasant.
I guess that’s why “write to your audience” has always been one of the worst pieces of writing advice for me. I understand that in a work or school setting you do need to “write to the audience” as much as possible. But at this point, my writing is never for the former and rarely for the latter, at least in comparison to how much I write.
There are people out there you can pay hundreds of dollars to in order to have them look at your blog and tell you what to change so you can make money with it. Even my school claims you can make quite a lot of money blogging. It’s on their list of things you can do with your English degree.
That is not why I write. When I forget that, I feel my writing suffers. When I write for others I’ve noticed that my writing is much more emotional because I am usually trying to prove a point. Either to get them to agree with me or to get them to notice me. And while it would be great to make money writing just blogging, I’d have to change what I blog about and that really wouldn’t be beneficial to me.
Besides, I don’t know anything more than being a 50 year old, ex-Christian, single mom of five kids, two with autism and one with ODD, and the other two with their own health issues. A college student with two diametrically opposed majors. All while trying to hold it together with un-managed PTSD and PTSD-related anxiety and depression. That’s it, that’s all I got.
One day I’ll have to write for a living (I can only hope) then I might take the audience into consideration more often. But for now, that’s all there is.