When you embark on your writing adventure, one of the key factors to consider is your audience. Who will be reading what you have written? Who are you addressing? Depending on the type of project you have in mind, the answers to these questions may be different. Every piece of writing has an audience; you may be writing for a general group of readers, a select few individuals, or even just for yourself.
Identifying your audience will help you figure out exactly what you need to say to get your point across. Use language that your readers will understand and feel comfortable with. If you’re writing literature for your business, you don’t want to sound like you are addressing children. Similarly, if you are writing a self-help book, keep in mind that your readers are people who are trying to better themselves. Using the wrong tone can come across as condescending and sometimes insulting. Alienating your audience is the last thing you want to do.
Make sure you are providing enough details to satisfy your audience, but don’t overload them. Different audiences call for varying degrees of explanations. Think about giving directions to your friend to a specific location. Saying “Just drive down a few roads and you’re there” doesn’t really help, because your friend has no idea which roads to take or how far apart the roads could be. The other end of the spectrum can be just as disastrous. For example: “Start at point X. Go past a white house. It has a black mailbox. The next house is blue and it doesn’t have a mailbox. After that you will pass four brick houses. The fourth brick house has a white fence around it. Turn left after the brick house with the white fence.” Most of those details are completely unnecessary and can distract your friend from remembering the important details, like where to turn.