Self-Exploration for Writers: My Readers/Target Audience

Self-Exploration for Writers: My Readers/Target Audience
By Norma J Hill (aka Pen And Paper Mama) ©2020

Welcome to a self-exploration series of exercises for writers: useful whether you are just thinking about writing, are a beginning writer, or are already an experienced writer. Explore what, for you personally, defines a writer, what kind of writer you are, what your writing goals are—and in the process, you will discover yourself as a writer. At the end of each post in the series, there is a link to a downloadable and printable PDF copy on which you can write your responses. Put them in a binder or duotang-type folder. Then, periodically along your writing journey, return to your answers, read what you noted previously, and add new thoughts and experiences. Through this self-exploration process, you’ll end up with a wonderful personal record of your writer’s journey.

1. Muses and Mentors
2. Reading that Inspires Me
3. Listening and Viewing
4. My Life Experiences Related to Writing
5. Inspiration and Dreams
6. Writing Formats and Focuses
7. My Writing Skills
8. My Readers/Audience
9. Preparing to Write

8. My Readers/Target Audience

Describe your ideal readers (your “target audience”) in detail. When you clearly understand your audience, it will affect the writing niche you choose, the way you write and edit your manuscript, and the marketing and publishing choices you will make.

My ideal readers have the following characteristics:

Age groups:    
Personal interests/topics:    
Likes and dislikes:    
Favourite genres:    
Educational levels:    
Beliefs and/or religions:    
Geographic localities:    
Cultural and/or ethnic distinctives:    
Rural and/or urban:    
Occupation types:    
National identities:    
Personality types:    
Social groupings:    

Now think of three or four people you know who fit the description of your ideal readers. What would each of them enjoy about your writing and want to gain from it?

The following people I know are part of my “target audience” and my “ideal readers” because:


Putting your exploration into practice: Are you having difficulty with this exercise? Here is a way to make it more personal and understandable. Choose a book (or poem, play, article, short story, etc.) you really love. Using the audience characteristics listed above, create a description of what you think the author’s target audience was for that piece of writing. Then describe why you like it so much. Are you part of the target audience? In what ways?

PDF LINK for this “My Readers/Target Audience” exercise: Download, print, fill in your responses, and place them in your own “Self-Exploration for Writers” binder.

4 thoughts on “Self-Exploration for Writers: My Readers/Target Audience

  1. dariusmarley says:

    Such good advice, Norma. I enjoyed reading this, especially because it’s so similar to the process I used when I started producing voiceovers in 2010. My job always starts with “WHO am I talking to?” every time I step into the VO booth.


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