Are you creating something?
Maybe it’s a blog post like this one. Maybe it’s a logo, or a desktop wallpaper. Are you writing a piece of software? Maybe you’re helping to create the next great Linux distro (HA!). Maybe you’re busy crafting an email to a prospective client or developing your own video podcast. Heck, are you busy writing a tutorial on how to best prepare a grilled cheese sandwich? (if you are, I recommend this method).
If you’re doing almost anything creative – and it’s hard to find people on the net who are not – I implore you to consider the following term:
Write it down. Stick it on the side of your monitor, or write it at the top of your page. And if you’re not sure who your audience is, stick a big fat question mark beside it and make it your goal to erase that question mark.
Once you do, once you define exactly, and succinctly, who it is, you’ll arrive at a better, more rewarding result when the proverbial day is done.
And that exactly and succinctly part ain’t easy. If the word “everyone” appears anywhere near your audience definition, double back and redefine it – you’ve obviously done it wrong.
I’m not here to preach. I’m here to learn. And as I do, I intend to share what I manage to soak up. Sure, there is a lot more to creativity and design than just audience (a LOT more), but I can’t think of anything more important. If you’re looking for a starting point for your creative endeavour, audience is it.
Who is the audience for this post (and hopefully others that will expand on this subject)? People of the Free Software ilk who are interested in discussing and learning about the concepts behind creative design.
You honestly didn’t think I’d arrive at this point completely unprepared did you? :)
The impetus for this post comes from a good friend who very recently pointed me to a three (yes three) year old mailing list reply from Havoc Pennington. Do yourself a favour, get a beverage and head over to his posting. It’s definitely required reading.