Identify Your Target Audience

Here I sit at 2 minutes past midnight with a blank screen in front of me and no idea what to write about. Who is my target audience? Well, in a case like this – nobody I guess. It is highly unlikely that this article will appeal to anyone unless I can focus and get some direction. So, let me see where to go from here.

Blank Screen Syndrome

There are many theories and smart pieces of advice available on the web explaining what to do when you suffer from that dreaded writer’s block. Some of the classic problems are:

  • You cannot come up with an idea

    Wow, sounds just like my situation. – I have absolutely no idea what to write, my screen is blank and I am deleting text as fast as I type it. This is where I am supposed to step back and write something trivial to get the ideas going again. Yeah, right. At 6 minutes past midnight my head is screaming for sleep and I am going cross-eyed. I should be off to bed, but I am determined to complete the assignment tonight.

  • All the ideas peter out

    Oh yes, here we go again. Just when I thought I had a really cool idea all sorted out I lose interest or realise that no target audience in the world will be interested in it. Another idea dies a silent death only to be replaced by the next even crazier one. This is going to be a long night.

  • I have an outline but cannot expand on it

    At last, things are starting to fall into place. My article has an outline, but whatever I try, the article will not stay on track. The outline is faulty and I do not know how to fix it without a major re-write. Worse still, I have two peaks in my article and I do not know how to get from one to the other. – Off to the bin we go.

  • If nothing works on paper do some physical exercise

    I read somewhere that physical exercise is a sure way to get fresh blood flowing to the brain and this may stimulate the creative juices. Well, I can go for a walk or hit the treadmill. However, neither option appeals to me right now. This is Africa and you do not go walking around alone at this time of the night, well not unless you have a death wish. That leaves the treadmill then. Hmm, this will be fun! I can just imagine the look on my daughters face after being woken by our rather noisy treadmill.

I found a very helpful diagram produced by New York Book Editors ( that explains how to solve this terrible problem and will make use of it in future. It is too late for me to salvage anything more constructive than I already have.



  1. solsdottir said:

    That is cool! I’ve always liked Ernest Hemingway’s “Apply backside to chair”, but that doesn’t always work either. Good to have an alternative.


    • ryandan said:

      I am pleased you like the approach. Thank you for commenting. 🙂


  2. Ryan,
    I think that writing (among other things) is hard to do on command. Lately, I am finding that my inspiration comes because I have taken the time to reflect on things I’ve read, conversations I’ve had, even lines from songs, movies, television, etc. I was challenged yesterday that if I have an hour to read that I should read for 1/2 hour and reflect on it the other 1/2.

    Sometimes, as you know, the “muse” comes out of seemingly nowhere although I think it’s because we’ve put in the intentionality elsewhere.

    Good post on a topic we can all relate to.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a fellow writer, I get writer’s block a lot too! To get the creative juices flowing, I try to look up prompts on the Internet. That usually helps me. Good luck!


    • belinda said:

      I look up prompts too, and the ones that strike a chord usually lead to something totally unrelated to the prompt. Go figure. But I guess the “secret” there is just to find something, anything to write about and trust that it will lead to something better. I do like the treadmill also!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree, a lot of the time with the prompts that actually inspire me I find that I take them elsewhere. But that’s okay, as long as I’m writing, everything’s fine. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • ryandan said:

        Thank you for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.


  4. Yeah, I feel if you write what you want, an audience will find you. I’ve written for target audiences, not in my own, authentic voice, and well, while I was good at it….ya know, it’s just not me.

    I tend not to get the mental block cause I only write on things that appeal to me and maybe that is a problem….I like a lot of stuff! lol


    • ryandan said:

      Hi elizaberrie

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to read the post. Fortunately writers block is a rare thing for me, but last night was clearly one of those occasions. That is life. It has ups and downs… and then there is writers block – in a league of it’s own.

      Go well

      Liked by 1 person

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