The audience for a piece of writing emerges in response to the writing; indeed, ideally the piece helps to form the audience, to bring it into existence. But one cannot write (well, I cannot) without, to some extent, imaginging who the audience for whom one writes; a good piece of writing needs to know its audience beforehand. The audience comes after; the audience comes before. I'd call the whole thing untimely, but it might bore you.
But where and how to enter the circle? I ask the question, specifically, because I'm currently writing two pieces on what I might call 'the political theory of television' (PTTV). Of course, PTTV doesn't really exist – I made it up. It just happens to encapsulate my own particular intersection of political theory and cultural politics of TV. Thus, if I want to write for someone other than myself (I do), then I must consider two (or more) previously consolidated audiences: 1) political theorists, and 2) cultural studies folks who do TV. Problem is, the first group doesn't like to take TV seriously, and the latter group seems to get edgy if I do too much theory (and that's what I do).
Luckily, the deadlines on these piece creep up on me so quickly that I cannot be bothered to let this dilemma paralyze me. Yet, I think the topic is intrinsically interesting, and I wonder what others think about it. Perhaps some comments?