chris higgs’ latest post produced a discussion about audience. i have thought about this before. my question is: can you ever have an audience (outside of yourself) in mind while you are writing? if you have an audience in mind before writing, doesn’t that mean that you are dealing with something that is already common? and doesn’t that mean that you are offering something that is not truly unique? the discussion branched off into the classic “indie small audience” versus the “mainstream big audience” talk. i don’t understand anyone wanting either in advance. audience seems to be something that happens afterward, long after anything the writer does. i understand eventually feeling good about a large group of people reading something you are pleased with, but i don’t understand wanting this in advance of pleasing yourself. again, i am not suggesting that only small audiences are good (good meaning representative of quality) and big audiences are always bad. what i mean is, can you imagine how drained a book that appeals to the whole world would be? i don’t think it’s even possible to imagine a book the entire u.s. would like, or an entire state. which to me, seems to mean that the audience you don’t have is also important. i’m just thinking.