The answer is your audience – and the best advice is to write to a single reader.  John Steinbeck did.

How on earth do I do that?  The answer is demographics.  Really, do I want to do that?  Turns out, it’s not as difficult as I first thought, and now, surprisingly, I do write to that one reader.  Have I got it right?  Sometimes.

Simple questions can build a comprehensive picture, which can help keep me focussed and on-point, using the right tone or language and even determining the words I choose.  There may be areas I shouldn’t go or areas I should frequent more.

Get it right and you can write consistently, sustainably and with clarity, captivating your reader audience.

Why bother?  Because I’m passionate about the work I produce.  Why on earth would I want to let that down with poor writing?  And, believe me, I’ve been guilty of that.

It’s all too easy to delegate little or no time to write about our work – especially with a deadline looming large.  But if we factor this time in, right at the beginning of the design process, it makes life a lot easier.  And this can be updated, added to and polished all the way through the making of the work.

I’ve read some beautiful, uplifting words about artists’ work – I’ve also experienced the opposite.  Talk about opportunities lost.

This is the time to engage, to elevate and stimulate my interest in the art and the artist.  Don’t waste that opportunity.

And we have to understand it’s not just this amazing, fantastic work we’re looking at that transports us and touches our hearts, but the words and writing that go along with it, that touches our soul.

Next week, The Glass Half Full?

cathy jack coupland