As a double major in creative writing and literature, I take a lot of English classes. More often than not, I'll hear the same advice when it comes to writing because Tusculum's English Department is pretty good at staying on the same page. However, there's one recurring question that people can't seem to agree on: who do you write for?
There are a million possible answers to that question so I'll go ahead and narrow it down to two: yourself or your audience.
If you've never been asked this question, think about it now. When you're writing are you thinking about what you want to say or what your audience wants to read? The answer to this is one-hundred percent relative. Depending on the situation, the answer may change. When writing an academic paper, you might want to focus on what your professors want to read. I mean, they are the ones grading them. But if you ever find yourself writing a short story or poem, who's to tell you what you can and can't write about?
As a student, you have a responsibility. You are supposed to write about what your professors want, whenever they want you to. But you also have responsibility as a writer to express yourself through your words. If you're ever writing anything that the public will have access to, don't be afraid to speak your mind. If you try to cater to everyone's reading needs, you'll overwhelm the writing and it won't be half as good as it could be.
My answer is write for yourself. Sure, you'll want to write for the audience because that's what will sell or become viral, but don't censor yourself. No matter what the subject is, it's one hundred times more interesting if there's passion and raw emotion behind it. So, if you hate Trump-- or maybe you want to build that wall-- but you're afraid of the backlash you might get for saying, face that fear. Own your opinions. Don't let your readers control your life or your writing.