Well, I have been writing for 284 days straight in Yoke. I am absolutely astounded that I have not missed a day; especially when there have been some DAYS, friends.
Earlier this evening, I found myself at a bit of a loss on what to write tonight. I had a few ideas; but none of them stuck. The challenge with writing everyday is not putting words together; but it is attempting to write a piece that can stand alone and has some sort of theme.
If you've learned one thing about me this year, it is that I love a good theme! Part of having a good theme, is knowing your audience. When I planned a surprise 13th birthday for Lily, who was heavily into theater at the time, we did a Clue Murder Mystery party (perfect for her theater crowd!). When we put together my Mom's 75th, we had a tea (perfect for the church ladies!).
The same goes for writing. When I am writing for homebrewers and wine makers, my tone is flippant and my words are filled with brewing puns (like In-Cider Information, for the details on the annual cider buy!). When I write for ALSF, I try to always write about hard, difficult topics with a positive hopeful voice (we do make lemonade there!). When I write for Happy Family, I always try to be informative, positive and channel the days when I had three babies instead of a teenager, tween and school age kid. Knowing your audience matters.
You may wonder why I am rambling on about this, while annoyingly giving out my resume. Well, it goes back to me not knowing what to write tonight. Sometimes, I can battle through and suddenly a piece just magically appears on the page. Other times, like tonight, I am a mess. Today, I turned to "The Observation Deck," a set of cards with writing prompts on them. I've had the Deck for more years than I'd like to admit. It's been moved to three states and packed on several vacations. How it works is I pick a card; then if I hate the card; I pick four more. Then I turn to the cards chapter in the accompanying book and get my instructions.
At this point if I still hate the card, I force myself to write about it anyway.
Tonight I picked "Audience." The deck's marching orders to either:
1. Think about who you are writing to and tailor your writing to them
2. Think about someone you'd like to exact revenge on and write to punish them.
Option 2 would be very interesting and perhaps a bit dark. (I had to reread these instructions twice; because the deck is not like an occult tool or anything. It is very positive and light-hearted!). I decided to save Option 2 for when I am having a bad day (so, probably tomorrow and everyday after that.).
For tonight, I wanted to think about who I was writing for on Yoke. Truthfully, I began to write for myself; but of course wanted everyone to read. I am still surprised when people ask if they can share my writing here, because, of course, they can and must! I write to be read. But who do I want to read? Who is my reader?
I could cop out right here and say I have no idea. Or say my readers vary from 55+ men to 35-45 year old mothers. But, I think I am writing to people like me--people who are more than a little bit broken, but still willing to laugh. People who recognize that life is truly a rollercoaster--and I hope my voice reflects someone who is constantly questioning why they got in line for the ride, but never stops riding.
I think my audience might scream a lot and never admit it. They also laugh a lot, but sometimes feel guilty about it. Oh and my audience is also very judgmental; but even more forgiving, which makes them the best kinds of people to talk to.
Thank you for being part of my audience!