Identify Your Audience

Blogging University: Day 4

When I was a teenager, my older sister left home for University in Sheffield, Yorkshire. That’s when I started to write – long, indulgent handwritten letters describing the events, activities and behaviour of our family. Not as funny as David Sedaris, but the day my mother accidentally threw my father’s false teeth into the coal fire was definitely worth a laugh.

I guess I’m trying to show her I’m not her dumb little brother anymore

My letter-writing habit continued for the 4 years my sister was away at college and afterwards when she left Britain to live in France (she studied French).

So the reader I always have in mind when I am blogging is my absent sister. She was always a bit smarter than me, so I guess I’m trying to show her I’m not her dumb (and annoying) little brother anymore.

And that, broadly, is what I still do, especially in my Diary blog posts. I no longer write about the foibles of our parents, our relatives and a cast of neighbourhood characters. But I do people my posts with personalities – my wife, our friends – and any anecdote that might put a smile on her face.

In writing this way, I suppose the hope is that if my sister happily reads what I write, others will too.

Sometimes I worry that my writing will only ever appeal to people who know me personally, making it a niche taste in a narrow world.

But one thing I’ve learned in transitioning from the handwritten, densely scrawled sheets of Basildon Bond (always a fan of nice paper) to the blog post on the internet is that there are plenty of people like me out there, trying to put a smile on their sister’s face.

Read what I did yesterday in Blogging University.

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