Anyone who puts their writing into the public sphere - no matter how many people are reading it - must have an ideal reader in mind. From the inception of this blog eight and one-half years ago, my ideal reader has been my wife. She remains the person I most rely on to keep me tuned up day-to-day. Many of the questions I've asked here are questions for which I'd like her answer. And whenever I challenge myself to be more, it's not false modesty or any need for affirmation that prompt me to do so. Each of those challenges to be more are put to the test when my wife holds me accountable for my public statements. How do people close to you know what you'd like to be held accountable for?
My ideal reader is also a window to look through to help me see others reading this blog. As long as she continues telling me my questions provoke her, I'm confident those questions will provoke others. When she tells me from time-to-time that she laughed at something I wrote, I'm confident others will be similarly amused. If a post about a book that has moved me prompts her to pick up that book, I'm confident she won't be the only reader so inclined.
Notoriety aside, if you're a writer, who is your ideal reader? When did you last acknowledge the valuable role that person plays in your creative life?