A hard lesson

This seems to be the theme of the day, as I’ve seen no less than three blog posts touching on the subject, but it’s certainly something I need to get into my thick skull:

You can’t please everybody.

I think this is why I seem to be on an endless quest to find an Ideal Reader. Someone to keep in mind as I write, to write “for” in a way. I guess really ideally, it’d be wonderful if *I* could be my own ideal reader, but I’m not sure my basement-low self-esteem is really conducive to such a thing. I’m working on that, but it could be a long time before I work that out, if ever, so in the meantime I have to figure out how to work around it. I also realize because of how I write I will probably have different Ideal Readers for different stories–though I look on a few of my friends with envy, knowing they have one person who is always there as their reader and cheerleader, I am not sure the same thing will work for me as I violently go from soppy drama to violent horror. 😛

This is an old post by John Scalzi, but I think my favorite on this theme.


On a related but tangential note: I feel like I’ve struggled for a long time to find my Ideal Audience as well. My friend Noel Blue, who has a very solid following, often reassures me that my real problem is just that I need to find the right audience, that the mutual misery I found while attempting to court the “romantica” crowd was due to a lack of speaking the same literary language. Now, I certainly want to believe that–it would make it Not My Fault!–but who knows if it’s true!

In the meantime, I think, I’ve figured out two Ideal Readers for Red Box, the people I want the story to please most. And I’ll listen to everyone else, certainly. But I think they both enjoy the story very much for what it is, and have been supportive throughout its development without being unwilling to point out what isn’t working, and I’d love them to love the story more than anything else.

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  1. Well, I might enjoy horror more than romance (heh) but you know I’ll always avidly read anything you write. I think quality and style is more important than subject matter – a good writer can draw you in no matter what tale they’re telling.

    And in the meantime, I will be repeating ‘you can’t please everybody’ to myself too!


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