Hitting the Nail on the Head · 22 September 2013

When my wife hits the nail on the head, it feels like she is hitting me with a sledgehammer.

My wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, recently read one of my blog posts. She is not one of my regular readers, but she seems to read whenever I have an off day. When I am not at my best. Or at least, it seems that way. And she always makes comments.

The problem is that those comments always seem to hit the nail on the head.

I have been blogging weekly for almost seven years now and I do not intend to break my streak of posting each and every week, even though The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi is right when she says that the quality of my writing is sometimes suspect. The reason I write and post is because I must. I have no contractual obligation, but for some reason I need to post as if I did. As if somehow I made a contract with those few readers I have. So even when the quality of my writing is not the best, even when the story is not very strong, even when I do not have much to say, I post something.

The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi has said in the past that I ought to wait until I have something worthwhile to say before I let the world read my writing. The problem with that is that I might wait forever. She has also said that I could wait until the quality of my writing improves before I post. But the same argument holds. I might wait forever.

So when she told me she read my latest post, I figured I would hear those same arguments again. I was surprised when instead she asked me a question.

Who is your audience?

I must admit that it threw me for a loop. I had the pat answers for both the weekly and quality questions, but I was not ready for such a simple question. I was not ready to be hit on the head so forcefully. I was not ready for the sledgehammer.

In reality, I do know who my audience is. I know that I am writing for ordinary folks like me. For people who work hard all day and just want somebody who can relate to the ordinary things that happen in life. And I should have said that when The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi asked me the question. Unfortunately, I had forgotten who my audience was.

Every writer must decide for whom he is writing. Whether we are writing letters or essays or silly blog posts, we need to see the faces of those who will be reading. We need to write to and for them. When The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi hit me on the head with that sledgehammer I realized that I had forgotten the face of my readers (both real and imaginary). I had forgotten they existed. And I had forgotten to just tell them stories.

Forgive me dear reader for forgetting you. For neglecting to tell the stories that are common to us all. The stories that are funny. Or poignant. Or even whimsical.

I know that I will still put out some poor writing or bad stories from time to time, but I will remember my audience. For I will always remember the chastising I got from a simple question. I just wish it did not hurt so much when The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi hits the nail on the head.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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