John Updike On Creating an Ideal Audience

In this present age of excessive information and of cheerful inaccuracy, where six shrewd or at least intimidatingly verbal critics exist for every creative spirit, the writer has no clear moral duty than to keep his imagination his own. In doing so, he risks becoming offensive ... All generations, each in their time, are viperish, and how the artist survives and makes his way in his own lifetime is fundamentally a personal problem, with many solutions, none of them ideal. But this much seems certain: what we end by treasuring in the creative imagination is the freedom it manages to keep, regardless of contemporary response. Or, rather, the degree to which it, imagining an ideal audience, succeeds in creating an audience with an enhanced capacity for response. - John Updike, How Does the Writer Imagine, Odd Jobs