A simple enough question which I guess no one will answer or can answer in a simple way. Or won't answer and raise other questions. This question is raised thematically and beautifully in a 70s Indian film "Abhimaan" (Pride/Self-Esteem). A famous singer visits his original village and hears a country girl sing to herself. He is captivated by the emotions it carries so effortlessly. He asks her what her secret is. The conversation eventually comes around to who to sing for...the famous singer confesses "the public of course, the public is my patron" Country girl (shocked): You sing to please other people? Famous singer (duh!): Who else would I sing to please? Country girl (with childlike innocence and simplicity) - Yourself, of course! Famous singer (has an epiphany): So is that why you sing so beautifully? Here is the incident - not subtitled This is the thematic dialogue setup for the film. The Famous singer and the Country girl get married, and within a short time her popularity overshadows his, everyone wants to hear only her, he is booed off the stage so the audience can focus on her. Eventually he is completely eclipsed by her, shattering his self-esteem. She loves him and doesn't want to alienate him of course....and then the plot carries on. The film is a beautiful exploration of this theme "Who should an artist create for?" If there is one identity of Homo Sapiens, it would be "The Lying Ape" more than the "Naked Ape" or the "Wise Ape". Almost endlessly we tell a version of truth we think others will believe and hide what we feel or know is the real, complete, unadorned truth. Our communication is designed to appeal to "other people". The assumption is we know "other people". Is writing for yourself the ultimate mark of respect for the audience? That you treat them with the same respect as you would yourself? But if you write for the audience, can you be sure you really know them? From the beginning, Art has posed this as a "Fundamental Question". Not just a simple fable from the 70s to be forgotten.