I donâ€™t write for an audience. Audiences are impersonal and distant. When I think of writing for an audience, I feel obligated to put on a show and be properly entertaining. But although I do hope my readers enjoy what I write, my primary goal isnâ€™t to appear larger-than-life. Therefore, when I write, I initiate an intimate conversation with one reader. Not an audience: just one person. If I imagine that I am inviting a single person to journey with me into a topic about which we both care, I am much more likely to reach his heart and mind, and this is what I want. I want him engagedâ€”I want him glad he invested his time with me.
I know my reader could be doing any number of other things, but he is choosing to spend his time with me, and this is another reason I donâ€™t write for an audience. Audiences donâ€™t have â€œtimeâ€� to respect. Itâ€™s easy to think of an audience as a captive and to abuse our time together; it is more difficult to think of a single reader that way. The single reader is much more likely to flee and he is therefore more demanding of my attention and respect.
Perfection, ironically, is not attractive because it leaves no room for debate. Readers also want to know my weaknesses and where the gaps in my knowledge are. These are the pauses in the conversation that allow the other person to add their opinion, and thus be engaged.
Via Thinking Machine