When I first started writing, stories that I wrote for myself or for my own eyes never got finished. If friends asked me to write a story for them, about them, or including some of their original characters, then I would gladly comply and actually finish the story.
Some writing advice books will tell you to have an “ideal reader” – a person you write for and who supports you. This person can be your mother, your best friend, your spouse… whoever. Sometimes the “ideal reader” can be a group of people – like a target audience or a class of people you would hope to influence. I like to think of this “ideal reader” as my muse.
When I’m writing for my muse(s), the words come a little easier. I have more motivation to finish the piece. It doesn’t feel like I’m just throwing words into the air and hoping they fall into the right place on the page. Words have more purpose when I write with somebody in mind.
But when it comes time for revision, the tough part is keeping our “ideal readers” separate from our inner editors. When I write for my muse(s) during the rough draft phase, I can usually shove my inner editor away into a corner of my brain. Then I let the editor back out when I’m ready to revise. I usually have a clearer view of what works and doesn’t work in the story and I am able to look beyond what my “ideal reader” might think.
So… do you write for yourself? For a certain person or audience? Feel free to share. 🙂