For whoever will listen.
I write for me.
Solely for myself, and whom ever says they don't, probably isn't a very good storyteller or writer. A person shouldn't write for anyone else but themselves. Don't write for others, and especially not to appease critics. Critics are pseudo-writers that THINK they are writers that understand the author and his intentions for writing and they are damnable creatures. They are similar to the majority of grade school and high school band teachers (as well as a LOT of so called professional bands you see in clubs and at weddings) that are comprised of musicians that either will never have the talent to be able to perform full time professionally making a name for themselves (and actually make a lot of money doing it) or they are the truly talented few that really don't want to seek fame or fortune. If you are not writing for your own pleasure (or playing music for the same reason) then you're in the wrong business.
Me, but I'll lie, and sound deep, and say "We're all trying to get back at our first loves". No. I do it for me. I'm trying to entertain myself first, and if that works, then it might work for other people. But if you can't even like it, then who the hell will?
Any good self-help book is written for the reader. The author understands that that his or her audience has a need for helpful information presented in a caring voice.
Jennifer Anniston. Or, o seriously, Dylan Thomas answered that question for me far better than I ever could. In 'My Craft or Sullen Art, the Welsh poet writes
"For the lovers, their arms round the griefs of the ages."
That being said, I think there are far too many sad stories being written. I would want to write for the incorrigibly optimistic who can smile through the 'griefs of the ages,' and carry on, like Jennifer, I guess.
I suppose I write for myself, since I write because it's the only work that doesn't feel like work.
Myself. If I don't write a book that I know I'd go out and spend my hard-earned money for, the manuscript goes into the bottom of my desk drawer, which I may revise at a later time. Or maybe not. But I have to please myself.
Writing is an escape for me. I write so that I can hide in my fantasies and escape the harsh realities of life. I have written many stories that I have never let anyone read because they were just an outlet for me at the time and I never polished the stories for others to read.
I believe a writer must first write for herself. That said, I'm writing commercial fiction in the romance genre, there are certain reader expectations within a Happily Ever After romance story that help mold where the story goes.
I also write non-fiction. I write monthly articles for http://lovetoknow.com (Love To Know) and http://romanceexaminer.com (Examiner) both websites have set criteria. I have monthly assignments for articles on Love To Know so I'm writing for hire. In these instances, I'm writing strictly for the reader and the website's expectations.
I have told people during book signings, as well on my web site, I write for me first, and for my followers. If I sell one book, or a thousand, I would not change my writing, or what I write about.
Deep down inside? I write for myself. to let out any emotion that i have. If im in a bad mood, i will write something to make myself feel better.