Answering this question leads us beyond becoming better writers; it unveils a clear pathway into our own happiness. As corny as that may sound, it is not unreasonable to conclude that happiness is what we all strive for, or at least the fulfillment of our individual wants and needs. For those of us who write, it is paramount to understand that the act is inseparable from our personal satisfaction, and if we do it without realizing our own motivations we will never not feel incomplete.
But this is not a sentimental article, so we can do without the soul-searching and poetic verbiage. It is a practical one.
Writing is as much of an expression of ourselves as is speaking. Even more, as it can be as honest as our most private thoughts. Oftentimes though, we will find in ourselves a need to part ways with the truth and invent a lie that constitutes a picture the truth never could. This relates not to the creation of fantastical worlds or fictitious characters; it is about the deeper message of any text. And this relates not to the quality of a finished story if it holds a deeper message that is either true or false. Any of the two may be a great work of art, and any of the two may make us content.
The deeper message matters solely to us, and understanding it may benefit us exclusively. It is by finding it in our stories and texts that we may find who we write for, and this is important because it is also the reason why we write. To ask who we write for, and why we write, is, in the end, the very same thing. The deeper message of the words we put together will be a hidden letter to who we write for, in a way that only that person or entity may comprehend.
We may write about a burning love we have had for ages, confessing through our words that sentiment to them, sometimes to ourselves. We may write about someone we lost, transposing onto the blank page the words we could not say while they were here. We may write great stories set in the vastness of space, or in ancient medieval worlds, but in truth we will still be writing about our need to escape the real world and its problems, our dreams about what society should be in the future, or simply because of the amusement in creating impressive new universes. These are the deeper messages. Not the morality of the story, not the resolution of the conflict. The deeper message is what we want to say, but are not brave enough to do, or may simply be unaware of.
This is why knowing who we write for, knowing the deeper messages, takes us to a place of happiness. Understanding why we write what we write, be it purely sentimental or a fully fleshed out story, represents understanding who we are, and why we do anything we do. Through writing we may truly learn about ourselves, if only we find precisely to whom we are writing.