By Mary Lynn Skutley
An often repeated piece of advice for writers is to “know your audience. “ In fact, I knew someone who tacked a photo of her target reader above her desk. That picture—of a dark-haired, mid-career professional man who was curious and open but by no means an expert—helped her write a lively book with minimal technical jargon.
We write to you weekly, dear readers, but we often wonder who you are and how we can better help you. Reviewing some “top five” statistics from last month, we know most of you are from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, or Australia. Many of you sign on from Phoeniz, AZ, Edmonton, CA, Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, or Singapore. And most of you identify English, Spanish, Chinese, German, or Dutch as your primary language. (Although Hausa, Persian, Norwegian, Japanese, and Portuguese are among the other languages you may speak.)
In a perfect world, we would sit beside you and talk about your work. We might ask about your intent, or suggest a few rephrasings, or simply admire the clarity of your prose. Most important to us is connecting, encouraging, and letting you know you are an important member of this far-flung community of writers. Thanks for inviting us to join you at your desk these past few years, and for being a part of our audience.