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Your level of zoom determines your audience

One of the difficult parts about writing is determining the level of zoom. Zoom in too close, and it’s a journal only relevant to you. Zoom out too far, and it’s too generic to catch the attention of anyone in particular. Choosing the right balance is an overlooked nuance in writing.

I’ve read many good pieces, which if zoomed out just a little more, could have been a hit with a larger audience, without losing impact. It’s a shame. I almost want to rewrite those pieces to get their ideas to more people.

I’ve also read many pieces which have been zoomed out so far as to be the most generic text anyone could read, text that’s not easy to connect to what might have inspired the writing. This kind of writing will not be remembered. It does not resonate with anyone, and there’s nothing unique that would make someone come back to that author versus many others.

Consider a piece about managing time at work. The author could write about the details of her job, irrelevant to the underlying lesson about how to manage time. These details make for a nice journal entry, but perhaps a larger audience could read it, if it focused on the techniques and used the job details as examples to clarify abstract ideas.