[inspired by the Sunday Scribblings prompt, "writing"]
I think it was one of my college professors who taught me that when I write I should always keep in mind my audience.
I write at work: memos, e-mail, announcements, instructions, personnel reviews, and policy statements. Since people at work come from all over the world, and from many walks of life, I try hard to keep my work writing clean and simple. I try to keep my vocabulary at a junior-high level to accommodate those for whom English is not their first language. I put the most important information at the top of the announcements because I know that some people's eyes glaze over quickly. When I am writing for work, my audience is very much in my mind.
The writing that you see on my blog is a different kind of beast. The poetry, in particular, is crafted with very careful word choices. I write to uncover a memory, or a truth, or a wish, and sometimes a rant. I can lay out my information in whatever order I wish. I can twist a story part way through. I can spring a surprise ending. I can use big words.
Yet when writing for my blog, I still keep a governor on my pieces. I limit my topics, avoiding ones that would divulge more than I am willing about work, co-workers, family, and myself. I am not obligated to write for my blog, so it is certainly about pleasing myself, but I do keep in mind my audience here and that audience includes family, friends, blog-friends, and strangers.
And I use one more mode of writing. I have an oft-neglected journal. In it I scrawl pages of stream-of-consciousness. I bitch, I whine, I pout, I rage. My journal sees the worst of me. It also sees the most introspective of me. My journal sees me without a filter, at least one episode at a time, with no editor, hand-written in pen so that it is permanent. Who is the audience for this mode of my writing? Most of the time, I write in my journal for an audience of just one - just me. And there are other times when I write in my journal for some unnamed future person who has discovered the book and is trying to piece together what kind of person I am.
It appears that I have more readers to please that I thought before I worked though this topic. Like any performer, I hope to keep them coming back for a long time. Also like any performer - I could no more stop writing than I could stop breathing. Even if the only audience I please is myself.