Who the Hell Needs to Know?

By Caleb Keith

In my day-to-day life, I like to think I write more than the average person, not because I have more to say but because it is the nature of being a student to write. During the school year, I write papers, essays, short-answer responses, and the like. My work also requires me to write. At 1517 the Legacy Project, I write Facebook and Twitter posts, emails to co-workers, and the copies for the Thinking Fellows podcast. Then there is The Jagged Word, which I write for once a week, supplying a short blog for your viewing pleasure. The writing I do is not consistent in that my audience and the format is always changing. Facebook posts are drastically different than an essay for a philosophy class. Because of all this hopping around, I have to constantly ask myself: for whom I am writing?

At school and work, the answer is almost always very clear. When I write a term paper, it is for a highly educated professor. That means I incorporate a higher degree of detail and back up every word I say with citations from minds much greater than my own. At work, I write to either a co-worker or a member of the public, which means I am friendly and cordial as well as specific and prompt. Writing for The Jagged Word is a different story and struggle.

When writing for The Jagged Word, there is no pre-determined audience for whom I must tailor my writing. In fact, I believe the opposite is true; it is the subject I choose and the writing style I employ that will determine who reads my blog. The title of a blog is everything when it comes to audience. People will only click on titles which interest or impact them. The question is: who do I want to interest or influence? The answer to that question changes week to week, but ultimately, I want non-Christians and non-Lutherans reading this blog—people who don’t agree with every word I say and especially people who need to know and don’t regularly hear that their sins are forgiven.

Unfortunately, this blog has been about me, myself and I, so it’s time to ask the question: for whom are we writing? The theme of The Jagged Word is “What the Hell is Going On?”, so now I ask: “Who the hell needs to Know?”.