One of my blog friends (R. Douglas) made a comment to me a few months ago, and it really stood out. He said that he often wishes to write for readers instead of writing for writers…

I began to think about that. When I write my blog, I know that most of my audience are fellow bloggers- other people who put their thoughts into words and hit publish. When I write my blog I know that I am writing to writers…I also know that there is instant feedback…

What would happen if I wrote my blog and disconnected the comment section?

How would that change my writing?

When I was working on my book, I found it hard to tell a story.

I found it hard to write for readers.

I like a lot of dialogue. I don’t like description. I don’t like a lot of deep prose paragraphs…I don’t like doing the things that appeal to readers…

However, in my blog, I write to you as I speak. I may not be as blunt as I am in real life…(trust me: I am blunt in real life and I can’t hide my emotions), but you are getting 100% me…

Aside from my poor grammar and lack of editing skills, I like writing for writers…

But how do I bridge the gap from writing for writers to writing for readers?

As I work on a memoir (yup- jumping on that bandwagon) I find that I can use the style that I have cultivated in my blog- I don’t have to rely on the traditional aspects of writing- I can rely on my ability to put words on paper in my unique (I hope) way…

But will readers want to read that?

Cause let’s face it: if I write a book I want it to be read…

And I can’t write a book with a comment section that I can reply back to…

But…as I have a comment section, right here, right now…

What do you think is the difference between writing for writers and writing for readers? Or do you think writing is writing and an audience is an audience?

What are the things in books that most appeal to you?

Help a sister out and give me your opinions…

107 thoughts on “Reading and Writing and Writing and Reading

  1. You know how when you’re at a wine tasting and the guy’s like “do you taste the hint of tobacco?” And you’re like “huh? TOBACCO? Umm, no? I’m just thirsty and this is wet!” 😉 So yeah..believe it or not LA, I have never even thought about whether people who read my blog are readers or writers.. Look how SHALLOW I am!! 🥴 I must be more of a beer blogger..HAHA!

    Liked by 10 people

  2. It is hard to switch from writing knowing you will get instant feedback to writing in a vacuum. I abandoned my book attempt when I realized the writing style I was using was all wrong for what I wanted to do.. It’s been hard to go back and try again.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes! That’s exactly what I’m thinking. I’ve read successful magazine writers pen awful books, etc…how do you make that subtle, or not so subtle, shift?

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Just because most of the people who read your blog now are fellow bloggers doesn’t mean that readers won’t want to read your book. Your style of writing is successful. Be yourself. Have a site or email where readers can contact you. You’ll get feedback.

    Liked by 12 people

  4. The thing in books that keeps me reading is dialog and action that move the story along. Most of the time I could care less that “it was a dark and stormy night”.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. I’d never given this much thought. I do remember the first edition of my book, it was a disaster. My blog writing didn’t translate well into book writing, which is why it’s taken me a year to complete it. However, I believe that readers, whether or not they are writers, will enjoy your content simply because it is what they want to read. Maybe I’m naïve, but it doesn’t matter to me what credentials an author has.

    As far as what I look for in a book, you know I love a good true story. So if you are writing a memoir, I’m sure I am going to enjoy it.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Hmmmm…. I think it’s often a combination. My blog is/ was purely written for me. A diary of my thoughts and feelings.
    Actually, if I think about it I don’t write for others unless it’s for a specific assignment for a job, or for a class.
    My short stories, novels were for me as well. I like to write and so I write.
    Think about the great writers of our time. Austen wrote for the love of writing. Louisa May Alcott did too and only succumbed to letting Jo get married ( rather than traipsing around Europe on her own) in order to get published so she could feed her family since her father couldn’t support them.
    The Bronte sisters wrote what they envisioned in their sheltered world. All the great poets of the ages have written for themselves too.
    Shakespeare fought Queen Elizabeth and wrote what he wanted too. She wanted a comedy, he’d give her comedies, tragedies, throw in a few lines of something that would appeal to her, but he wrote from his heart.

    I love your topics and your thought process. And if you wrote strictly for others your blogs wouldn’t be as genuine as they are.

    Liked by 11 people

  7. You have me thinking before my coffee again. 🙂 I think there is a difference between writing for readers vs writers. I believe that readers of your blog are silent and less engaged. The writers of your audience are interactive and you like to interact. Perhaps the average book writer enjoys the creative process and is akin to a painter.

    I believe if not for the interaction of blogging I would have ceased long ago and that is my struggle sometimes. Bloggers are more like cooks who don’t want to eat alone but would rather create a meal that causes a gathering and sharing of more than just food, but also togetherness.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. I too blog with my own voice, meaning I write in this forum just the way I speak. I don’t think it makes for good book format when I go back to read old posts. Then again, I have no plans to write a fiction book either. From past assessments, I believe I was a good research writer and I actually enjoyed that because: factual, clear without emotion and focused on topic rather than storytelling…again my WP persona has followed that path. My take on your query would be to write in a way that feels comfortable to you. If it becomes a book then get a wide variety of honest readers to read the draft for feedback. Or just screw the whole idea of writing for anyone but yourself and simply enjoy the process!!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Well, although I do have a blog and write posts, I don’t really consider myself a writer, so I think you just just write it and see what happens. As they said in “Field of Dreams,” “If you build (write) it, they will come.” The only difference I might see between writers and readers is writers may critique style or grammar, although readers can be pretty critical too. See? No difference. Write it.

    Liked by 8 people

  10. I think what appeals to me most about a book is similarities or identification with the author whether we lived in the same place, worked in the same industry, or travelled overseas or if it is a mystery…I defer to their words and read the story.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. I like thonging for thongers. There’s an understanding in the thong community that allows thongers to generally “get” other thongers.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. The thong community is only recently coming out of the shadows and becoming more exposed in both literature and film media.

        Liked by 3 people

  12. Hmmm, the thought never really occurred to me that you’d need to have different styles if you’re writing to different audiences.
    I mean, writers can still learn from other writers, right? While I’m also not the biggest fan of really prose-y paragraphs, I still will briefly analyse how they do it, and try take some ideas from them. All writers are still readers in some way, right?
    Also, I prefer it when writers are blunt and straight to the point as well like in real life, so I personally don’t see much difference with the 2 kinds of audience

    Liked by 7 people

  13. Well think of it like this, you are writing for at least one reader, me. I write as well but it’s not my forte, ya know. The only way to truly write for the reader is to migrate to WordPress.Org.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. First of all, to be clear, I would buy your book regardless.

    Now, being authentic is, to me, what matters most. Being who you, I, we, truly are. Day in day out. When I read a book, or watch a movie, or see a play, and people are trying….not doing themselves, I know, and it is a turn-off. Why? Because their heart isn’t in it, and people know. Write just as you are…that’s it.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. My bellied is that one should write the first draft of a memoir as though no one is going to read it. I found it the only way I could be honest in my writing. After, I edited it to make it a better and more readable book. If in doubt as to who the ultimate book should be written for – I make it as readable as I can.
    PS. The feedback you mention is called a review when you’re talking about a book. 🙂 Though they say it’s better not to read your own reviews…

    Liked by 5 people

  16. I hear many bloggers talk about how they write for themselves, and I’ve tried to start thinking the same way. Truth is, I don’t even like the thought of authors reading my posts because I know my writing isn’t perfect.

    Good luck on your memoir! That sounds interesting. 👍

    Liked by 6 people

  17. I think there is a HUGE difference in writing a Blog for comments versus writing a book. A book is not meant for comments, the writer stands behind their story, whether we like it or not… their story is meant to make us think on our own about the characters, the plot, the scenery, etc. As you mention, maybe THAT is what you struggle with in writing a book. It’s lonely, there is not feedback unless you are part of a critique group, to know if readers WILL enjoy your story or not. Writing a book means taking a chance on the unknown. While Blog writing and asking for DISCUSSION cannot hurt your feelings, it’s a discussion. Book writing is not a discussion, it’s your story — readers either like it or not, so you DO NOT have CONTROL over the discussion. Maybe THAT IS IT, you want to have CONTROL like you do as a Blog moderator. Something to think about. What is in your heart? In the end, we must do what makes us happy. Maybe doing your Blog and Podcast suits your personality better than publishing a novel, it allows for people interaction.

    Liked by 6 people

  18. It’s an interesting question. I find most bloggers on here, are writers first, and then readers. I wonder what it would be like to be read predominately by the latter? I write primarily for myself, but I enjoy the feedback and interaction with other bloggers. If I’m having fun and am happy with the writing, I don’t to some extent care what other people think, (unless they are complaining about my word count which irks me as if they don’t want to read a long post then don’t) but when it comes to writing a book and trying to get it published I think I will have great difficulty letting other people read it.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’m definitely a reader first…when I read I read as a reader…as long as it’s well done I’m along for the ride…I don’t know how I would feel if my work other than blogs were published

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Such an interesting topic…i think for a writer, writing anything on any medium should bring joy….in blogging, you will get an instant response whereas for a book, you will have to wait and watch….but either ways, be true to yourself and write the way your heart desires 😊❤️

    Liked by 4 people

  20. Wow, I had never thought of it in that way! I started my blog and YouTube page, I didn’t have readers or other creators in mind, I thought I was sharing myself and my thoughts just for readers…

    I only discovered later that writers actually read each other and have been writing like so since 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  21. Honestly, one of the reasons I keep a link to my blog on my Facebook page is that I draw readers from there who aren’t also writers. I do like the idea that some of the people who read my blog aren’t also bloggers….although the ones who comment on it are mostly bloggers. But the variety in readers is nice, I think, and actually gives me a little more freedom to write about different subjects. And the post I had that generated the most response (aside from the ones that Word Press included on their “discover” page) was popular on Facebook, but not so much on Word Press. I wrote about moving to a small town when I was young, and what it was like to live in one. It was shared over 400 times on Facebook, so I guess people who lived in small towns related to it. But the “stats” on Word Press for that post were actually lower than usual!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I don’t share my posts on any other social media (though oddly people from Twitter, Facebook and such have seen my posts so someone must be sharing them) I do sometimes wish for a few more “readers” because I’d like to be able to write for a wider audience…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m sure people are sharing them, but Word Press no longer lets us see it when they do. I used to be able to see how many times a post was shared on Facebook (but not who shared it) but that’s been removed. Another “improvement,” I guess?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I was trying to fix something and I stumbled upon how many times my posts were shared not via WordPress. I doubt I could figure out what I did, but I thought it was really interesting

        Liked by 2 people

  22. Readers like stories. Even in blogging, people like stories, so what I’ve noticed that you and I do, is we tell a brief story at some point. We also engage in the comment section. I get that, but the difference between writing for writers vs readers is the story element and how much story you tell.

    What I’ve also noticed is that when I’m focused on publishing (in other areas), I hold back the story element on the blog, so I can pour more of that into the upcoming publication.

    I think this is how your memoir can be different. People wanna hear the story…not your commentary about the story. Know what I mean?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That’s a really interesting thought on this…the story vs the commentary. It also goes back a little to the whole storyteller vs wordsmith idea…I know I use real life episodes to show points, or make comparisons…thank you! You’ve given me food for thought!

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Before I started my blog I agonized over my reasons for doing it. In the end I just thought to share my thoughts on various topics in the hope that someone might benefit from reading it. It’s wonderful to hear positive comments and receive likes, but that creates pressure on me to write on topics that are likely to bring in lots of likes and comments. Be true to your instincts and write what they prompt you to do.

    Liked by 7 people

  24. Do you know why your friend made that comment? I’m wondering what the thinking was behind it was?

    For me, especially when I’m writing my family memoir, I just write. I don’t worry about the make-up of my audience – there’s plenty of time for that later. From my POV, the main reason to consider who my audience might be is for the purposes of marketing, and that’s not an issue I plan to think about until after it’s written. The first draft of it anyway. If you want to write in the style of your blog – do it. All you have to do is to modify it to remove the part where you seek engagement or the opinions of others. It is more lonely writing than blogging, but if you’ve a story you’re driven to tell, you’ll find a way 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  25. When I took a memoir class, this was the same thought I tried to hammer into my own head with every class session. I haven’t looked at comments from your readers yet but I’m sure there will be advice there we both can use!

    Liked by 3 people

  26. I think you should write for your past self….like something you would have loved people to say about you or to you in the past but no one actually did…. so what I am saying is that write what you would love to hear about.
    Sorry if this makes no sense to you 😅

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Though I’m new to this writing community, what I have observed in this short span of time is that, writing is very much different from reading! Both are a skill and we can’t circle out what we sound like or hear like actually. Perspective changes from person to person. As a writer, I try to make sure I engage all my readers and not bore them with too much words and philosophies. This is just my personal point of view. Thanks for this post!!

    Liked by 3 people

  28. I don’t depend on my writing for my next meal, nor do I have any reputation to uphold. I like to see what other people think about topics. I find people to be more insightful and knowledgeable than I am, but many say that I did make them think quite a bit.

    I live in a strange world where I’m productive or not at all.

    I’d say if writing is your trade, then you have to write for readers, perhaps at the expense of your own thoughts and feelings. Not only, but you have to uphold a reputation.

    We are as free as we can be.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. “I like a lot of dialogue. I don’t like description. I don’t like a lot of deep prose paragraphs…I don’t like doing the things that appeal to readers…” — I like the kind of stories that have more dialogue than deep prose. LOL I think in this day and age, not very many people have the patience for longwinded writing. Your entry reads well, and if you write like that for your book, I’m pretty sure you’ll do great.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I’m just enjoying what Alan Alda does with Neil Simon’s ‘Jake’s Women.’ Everyone’s perspective is different, that’s why all those how to books are different. But if you want to be entertained and want Neil Simon’s perspective watch that film. It’s on YouTube.

    Liked by 1 person

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