Listen To Your AudienceJul 25, 2019
“You had to listen to the audience because writing is just a guess.” – BJ Novak
I saw a YouTube video recently about how they wrote episodes of The Office. B.J. Novak who was a writer, director and executive producer for the show. Oh and you may also recognize him because he played the temp Ryan Howard.
B.J. was explaining how you had to learn as a TV writer that scenes which seemed guaranteed to be hilarious in the writer’s room may bomb on set.
“You had to listen to the audience because writing is just a guess.”
Writing is just a guess. We take our experience and what we know of the audience and guess at what they’ll like. Sometimes we guess right. Sometimes we guess wrong.
We take our experience of our social media followers and guess at what they like.
I think we can all relate to posting something that you just knew was going to be a hit with your audience and then it flopped. No likes. No comments. [Que cricket sound effects 🦗]
Sure, you can be sad it didn’t work, but then you can use that information to rework it. You now have valuable data about what doesn’t work. Use it to tweak and reshare until you hit a home run, or, in B.J.’s case, a hilarious TV show.