I don’t Need an Audience

May 19, 2020 ☼ blog postwritingmusings

So, I’m writing this since I really haven’t posted an actual blog post to the Sandbox yet. And, as they say, there’s no time like the present.

This isn’t going to be like my normal blog posts that you’ve encountered in the past. Not to say that those aren’t coming back. I enjoy writing informative and creative little pieces, and I even have some plans to revamp a few of my older works. But today, that’s not the point. You see, during this pandemic, I’ve come to a few epiphanies. Nothing majorly huge like the answer to life, but still just as valid.

As a content creator of any kind, one thing that always weighs heavily on our minds is our audience. Sure, everyone in the profession will tell you that the audience should be the last thing on your mind (specifically for those who produce creative works) but we all know that’s not the case. Anyone who produces work of some kind wants it to be seen by someone. A novelist wants their book read; a painter wants others to enjoy their art. Sometimes we’ll even take criticism and rude comments just to know that at least someone saw our work and we’re not just throwing out projects into the void.

I can tell you from experience that I’ve bent over backwards to try and get my work seen. And I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no marketing expert. I can’t really make eye-catching designs; my people-savvy skills are nonexistent at best, and there just aren’t that many people who are genuinely interested in my work beyond wanting to not hurt my feelings. Don’t try to deny it; I know it’s true. I’ve spent money on advertisements that seem to just go in one eye and out the other (I know, that was awful, but don’t expect the blind girl to have impeccable eye analogies).

So why am I telling you this, and where’s the epiphany? Well, here it is: I don’t need an audience. You see, society has bred us to believe that we need constant observation, appraisal, and validation from others. We can’t be any good unless we have thousands of fans hooked onto our every word. You can see it on any content platform you encounter. Your payment for creating videos on YouTube is directly correlated to the number of subscribers you have. Books with a huge fanbase are way more likely to be made into a movie. We have this flawed view that popularity automatically equates to good, valuable work. Well, I’m here today to challenge that.

You see, the words on this screen will be the same words whether two people see them or 200. My music will be the same music whether or not they land on the top 100 charts. Someone seeing my work does not put value on it. What I put into my work determines its value. Does this mean I’ll stop sharing? No, not at all. I think it’s important to share. We can’t all be stuck in our heads. People should have the opportunity to see some awesome work of any kind. What it does mean though is that more effort should be put into creating valuable content than trying to amass an audience against their will.

If you read this to the end, I hope you got something out of it. Even if no one read this, I got something out of it, and really, that is this post’s true value.