Writing For Real People
Here’s a thought that occurred to me sometime last year, but has always been a strange thought that I’ve never thought to share:
“Remember to write for real people”.
It seems a little strange, does it? Well, it’s true.
Every single piece of writing is a piece of communication that’s directed towards a real person and should be created with that in mind.
If it seems a little bit too commonsensical to you, then let me give you a bit more context that’s tied to this situation: The fact that I’m writing this blog post to serve you, a real person.
As far as I know, you’re not a robot (unless I’m mistaken!), and neither are you just a number on WordPress – you are a real living human being with your own goals, hopes and dreams, and you have limited time and energy.
As a reader of this blog, you could continue to read this blog, comment on it, and share it with others, which would be great for me as a writer and supremely encouraging – and as the writer who wants to build an audience, I would like you to read it, share it with your friends, and come back.
In other words… What you see here needs to be worth that time and energy!
But now, let’s step away from blog posts for a minute and generalize.
If you’re writing a school essay, you’re writing it for a teacher who is going to give you a good grade if they think that it’s well-reasoned or impressive; that is his or her job!
If you’re writing a story, you’re writing it for someone who wants to be entertained and to have something to talk about with their friends!
What this all means is that every single piece of writing that you ever create will be directed towards a real person!
That’s why when you write a school essay for a teacher, writing grammatically is a must, and writing logically is a plus!
It’s why we think about the order in which you present words, why punctuation matters, and why we care that your writing is well-researched and contains both facts as well as good reasoning!
That’s why when you write a story, you think about whether the premise is entertaining, the pacing is great, and whether the audience is suited for and connect with it!
When we write, we must consider the reader and what they want!
That is the absolute fundamental of good writing, and that’s where things like ‘show and do not tell’ and ‘use good grammar’ come into play – because these are respectively important for helping readers to not get caught up in word salad and to not be confused simply because they don’t understand the meaning that you’re trying to convey!
Of course, this sometimes can seem difficult to implement, and you might make the (valid!) argument that people may not even know what they want, what we think that people want does not actually align with what they do want, and what we personally want isn’t always something that can be compromised because we have our own thoughts, preferences, and things that we personally prefer to share and not.
I feel that there are certainly many things that as humans we share in wanting, though – the need to receive good and valuable information efficiently, the need (or the want?) to be entertained by what we read, the need to feel a sense of human connection with the author or a sense of relatability to the piece.
To understand these things, I believe that lifelong learning by looking at the world and immersing oneself within it is crucial – I believe all good writing comes from learning about people and from reading books extensively over time, learning about the world, and coming to observe things in such a way that we better understand them over time. 🙂
On my part, I’ll always be grateful for the people who are here, knowing that they are real people with real thoughts, wishes, and dreams; I think that I could have supported some of these dreams a little better during the time that I’ve had before, but hope that somehow or another, that will carry forward in this blog.
Please share this if you find it valuable, and I look forward to writing much more in the future!