[This is a photo of me from 5th grade, 1979, and she is the person I often write books for.]
A mentee asked me “who do you think x bestseller author wrote that book for?”
I said, they wrote it first for themselves, for the person they used to be who needed to read that book back then. It is my opinion almost every author does this.
When you write a book, you write back to the person you used to be, to help bring them forward to the self you are today. You write the book that you wish had existed for that person who needed this book.
And yes, you will later become aware of the fact that other people also need this same book. In fact, one of the best ways to write something that feels universal is to write something that is deeply personal, deeply human, because that’s how you get readers to connect to your story.
But in the beginning, you are writing for an audience of one: for yourself. For the person you used to be who needed this book and didn’t have it. And you’re fixing the universe by filling that lack.