I used to pass along nearly every rough draft of my articles to my family and friends so that they can read it all before I published or submitted them.
I figured if they liked it, then other people would like it to too, right?
And I figured that they would give me their honest opinion because they wouldn’t be afraid to hurt my feelings since they’re close to me.
But, whenever I passed it onto them, then I’d have to wait for them to actually read it and give me their feedback which sometimes took a little longer than anticipated.
After all, they have lives too.
Lately, the volume at which I am producing content is far exceeding the rate in which they’re able to read everything in the time frame that I’m hoping for.
And then, I realized a few things about having your family and friends critique your work.
My friends are not my editors.
They don’t have to read, edit, and approve every single piece of content that I create.
They’re not on a strict work schedule to read my writing. I’m not paying them to do this.
Sure, I’ll still ask for their opinion on which headline sounds better every now and then, but they don’t need to read every single thing I write — That’s not their job.
They’re not entitled to deciding whether or not something I write gets published and they’re not the appropriate judges for deciding whether or not it’s actually good.
So, I stopped sending them my drafts.
And since then, I’ve felt a lot better about putting the accountability back in my own hands rather than waiting for them to tell me whether they liked it or not.
My friends are not my audience.
I’m not writing for my friends. They don’t have to be interested in everything I write about.
They’re not obligated to like, share, or clap for every single post.
Just the same as a tweet or a photo shared on Instagram, they’re not going to see and like everything that’s posted.
And I won’t stop being friends with them because of that — I wouldn’t be mad at a friend just because they didn’t respond to an article I shared. That’s absurd.
I have a separate Facebook page for myself as a Writer, but to be transparent, I get very few likes on the posts that I share there because a majority of the people that like my page are my friends.
They already follow me on all other social media platforms and don’t want or need to be inundated with an over-saturation of shares about the same exact thing.
Now, you’re probably thinking,
“Okay, well clearly you don’t have very good friends.”
That’s not true at all.
It’s just that my friends aren’t the ones whom I’m intending to target.
I’m intending to target the people who genuinely read and enjoy my writing often.
Jonathan Greene wrote a great article about this exact topic where he said,
“Your target audience consists of people like you. Writers. Readers. Not your friend from middle school who thought Catcher in the Rye was stupid.”— Jonathan Greene
And it’s true. Your friends are not frequently using and checking Medium every day like you are.
They’re not the ones who are giving you claps at the end of the day.
And to be honest, my friends are probably not even going to read this article either, but that’s okay.
I’m okay with it because it’s not intended for them.
Instead, it’s for YOU, reader — whoever you are. I’m writing this for people like you who care about this type of content.
And I whole-heartedly thank you for showing an interest in my writing. It truly means a lot.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article, check out “Stop Rushing to Publish Everything You Write”