An Open Letter to Writers

Dear Writer,

The most important thing for you to consider is your audience, correct?

This is also the most problematic.

Kyriarchy means the “audience” you think of is less universal than you think. In fact, I’d go straight out to call utter bullshit on the idea that any character, or any story, really, is ~universal~ because the mosiac of human experience directly contradicts any notion of complete universality. It’s when you try to impose a default, to say that this is the human experience captured in literature, when the bloody idea of it becomes nothing more than a bad joke. It’s like parading a cat in front of your family and saying this is the universal representation of all animals. I still see this perpetrated by many, many others like you who decline representation because it’s pandering to ~special interest groups~.

Isn’t that just the thing, though? The imaginary audience. What you need to realise is that stories about the most privileged group are everywhere. Seriously. There are hundreds of thousands of millions of stories out there for them. You get AWARDS for just writing about this specific class of people and nobody else. You get even more awards for writing for the privileged gaze!

But guess what! The majority of the world isn’t in that demographic. The majority of the world is sick of having to read the same characters over and over and over. They will support you. They are the ones paying for you. They are the ones who will spend hours kneeling on the floors of bookstores and petitioning libraries looking for your work. They care, because you cared enough to write about them, about telling them their stories existed, their stories mattered. I’m willing to bet they don’t really bother with your style, because it’s your content they care about, that spoke to them, that ignited their imaginations as readers. The spark that says I am a human being damnit, I matter!

And to do this, you need to approach the issue humbly. Be willing to learn. Be willing to question what you have been told, be willing to understand you will make mistakes, and that if you do, it is your responsibility accept them gracefully and move on. Try again. Do better. Because, by now, you should have realised the point of my letter. And that is that writing for a privileged audience doesn’t change anything. They don’t care: they will toss your work aside. There’s thousands of other books about them. But we, we are the ones who will pick them up, dust the cover, read the blurb and think, this might just be worth my while. We, the ones who don’t get to see ourselves humanised, the majority of us, when are you going to admit you need us, huh?


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