Writing without an audience is like clapping with one hand—How to define your reader

Jun 03, 2020

Of course, what you have to say is groundbreaking and earth-shattering and the next NYT bestseller. But how are you going to reach the reader? The audience? The market?  Well, first you gotta know WHO they are.

You may have a writer’s brain and your message and book are all you’ve been eating, drinking, and dreaming about but force your mind to think differently—shift your paradigm. I challenge you to “see” differently.

Picture that reader in your mind’s eye. Ask yourself: 

  • How old are they?

  • Are they male or female? Or both

  • What is their education level?

  • Economic status?

  • What are their interests? 

  • How does your message meet their needs? What is your reader’s problem?  Does it fix that problem? What is their pain point? Does it lessen that pain? 

  • If you could have lunch with your reader, what would you talk about?

  • What do you want to know from them?

Now you can start to “see” your reader. But don’t “see” with words. 

This exercise I recommend will stretch your brain but that’s good for you. It’s healthy to push your brain into new ways of expression. I’m suggesting that you create a vision board of your reader. Draw a picture of your reader---draw that picture with pictures cut out of magazines, with pictures from your photo files; paint it in watercolors, draw it in ink and pencil or with chalk.  Have fun with it. Like a free writing exercise, just let yourself go and let the creative juices flow.

Now that’s who the message and story are for. It’s not for you. It’s for them. Post that picture in front of you where you write. “See” them, talk to them, focus on them. Everything you put on paper is for that person on your vision board.

Now, have at it--talk to that reader as if they are your new best friend, because they are. 




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