Writers and readers


In The Elements of Style, at the very end, E.B. White writes: 'Many references have been made in this book to "the reader," who has been much in the news.  It is now necessary to warn you that your concern for the reader must be pure: you must sympathize with the reader's plight (most readers are in trouble about half the time) but never seek to know the reader's wants. Your whole duty as a writer is to please and satisfy yourself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one.'

This passage is underlined in my copy.  It's a passage I come back to often.