I know, you're shocked! But I really do. I like teaching writing. I like writing poetry (even if it ends up stupid). I like writing stories. Plays. Shopping lists. Blog entries. Yeah, pretty much everything (except queries to publishers--I hate those).
But often my audiences are not the best for the things I write. For instance, most of my serious poetry is written to someone. And that someone loves my poem, but the poem leaves pretty much everyone else cold. My husband loves the sonnets I wrote to him in college. My mother-in-law loves the poem I wrote her after her husband passed away. My aunt loves the poem I wrote her when she was going through a particular bad part of her life. But the poems don't seem to translate to anyone else.
I have other audience problems, too. Sometimes readers of my novels aren't so impressed. Sometimes actors in my plays urge me to change serious dramas to farces--"the only way to save this material" is what they contend. Sometimes I've turned what I thought was a brilliant essay, only to have it picked apart. Oh yes, I'm used to it. I've learned, too, that audiences, even if they are pretty off base, do pick up on problems--audience analysis can be beneficial no matter what they think.
But wouldn't it be nice if one audience--one perfect audience--knew exactly what you were getting at? Wouldn't it be great if my play reached an audience of women who just knew every word in my play was an authentic part of both myself and them, if by the end they were weeping with relief and joy that their deepest dreams were laid out before them, for them to embrace? What if my novel were like the best meal ever eaten, full of magic and mystery, juicy and satisfying, good enough to order over and over again. What if I had regular customers, who found themselves delighted with each new installment?
What would your ideal be? Who is your perfect audience?