“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Dr. Howard Thurman
I’ve been thinking lately about something I read in the superior book Listening to Midlife, by Mark Gerzon. In there Mark refers to a quote from Margaret Mead about whether it is a good thing to ever ask your readers what THEY want:
“Never ask your readers what they want, because then you’ll give it to them, and that will be entertainment. Ask yourself what you want, and then you will delight your readers.”
When I first started out as a blogger on Midlife Crisis Queen I thought I should try to figure out what my readers wanted, but I wasn’t sure how, so I went ahead and wrote what felt inspirational to me. Turns out, my audience came to my site BECAUSE I was writing what came from my heart in my own unique voice.
The purpose of my writing was not simply entertainment created for my audience’s distraction, but an honest expression of my own viewpoints, frustrations, sense of humor, wisdom, etc. My main interest was in authenticity. My blog reflects my own way of dealing with being a 56 or 57 year old woman in America today. I call ‘em as I see ‘em!
Same with my books but even more so. These are an expression of who I am. I figured I cannot be the only person in this world experiencing midlife chaos, having these feelings, doubts, misgivings about where we are headed, and genuine emotions.
And the mainstream media seemed to have little interest in covering this story, or in publishing stories about midlife change. They still have little interest, but I continue to enjoy the process of expressing my own experience of learning from midlife. My statistics continue to go up after five years, so it seems somebody is relating to all of this!