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Know YOUR Audience

The hardest part about creating is always the “other people” part. What will “other people” think of me trying something like this? Will “other people” deem me worthy? Will “other people” think I’m weird or crazy?

It’s rarely the technical stuff that stops us. Sure, there are hard skills that must be acquired in any craft, but this is usually an invigorating process when we eradicate all the fear, pressure, and insecurity that stems from how “other people” might be evaluating our journey.

If you want to create, you have to get clear with yourself about where you stand with the “other people” factor. Do you need to be liked by everyone? Most people? Are you okay with being someone else’s hero? Their villain? Can you stand the rain of being misunderstood? Are you cool with making some people a little nervous? If you can be honest with yourself and come to grip with these questions, the technical side of creativity will go much more smoothly.

People often say “Know your audience.” That’s useful advice, but much too vague. The audience you fear or the audience you love? The audience you already know or the audience you’ll get to know as a result of creating the things you truly want to create?

If you’re feeling a little stuck in the creative process, I suggest stepping back from the audience that’s sitting in front of you today and carefully thinking about the audience you’re working towards. Sometimes the best cure for writer’s block, creativity block, or any other block is the sheer willingness to let go of the audience you have in order to make room for the audience you want.

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