Write for an audience of one

Every text has an author and a reader.

The author—you—tells a story. Whether it’s a business pitch or a blog post, a piece of fiction or a strictly academic text. However, there’s also a person on the other side of the screen, the person who reads the words once they’re published—the reader.

When writing, you should always keep the reader in the back of your mind.

Does the idea of a wider audience sound absolutely intimidating? Think of one person. Imagine you’re talking to someone you know well. Instead of telling your story to an unknown audience, imagine what you’d tell your best friend.

Don’t worry about what the rest of the world thinks—simply explain your ideas the way you’d describe them to a good friend.

Would they understand the point you are trying to make or is your writing too convoluted? Have you actually gotten the point across, or would your friend demand further explanations? Your audience doesn’t know what’s going on in your head; they only have the access to what you’ve written down. Stay clear, stay on topic, and remember not to ramble.

How would you keep your friend engaged and entertained when talking? Since it’s someone you know well, you should know all the tricks to catching their attention and keeping them hooked on what you’re saying.

This also allows you to make the text more meaningful and less impersonal. So, the next time you sit down to write, instead of thinking of some vague faceless reader, write as if you were talking to a friend, and see what you’ll produce.

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