Whom do I write for? Let us take the example of this blog.
I have found Kurt Vonnegut’s advice to creative writers to be extremely sound: “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” And the person he refers to is the writer herself.
Derek Sivers, an entrepreneur turned writer, altruist and one of my favourite humans on the planet, has a contrarian view – he writes only for other people. His idea? So that his work can be of value to others.
How do I reconcile this contradiction?
Both Vonnegut and Sivers have a point. Vonnegut referred to creative writing – an art form that ought to be an end in itself. Most forms of written fiction would fall under this category. Sivers, on the other hand, writes to inform – to share his story and wisdom, so that others can find it useful. Most non-fiction writing also intends to inform.
Which of these approaches do I adopt for this blog? – Both of them. The topics I intend to write about are broader ones – to provoke thought that could be useful to other people. The style of writing, is one I adopt for its own sake.
The beauty of wisdom is that unlike science, even contradictory ideas can work in perfect complement.