Three Ways to Tap into the Needs of Your Reader
by Suzie Eller
Just this week I watched as a close friend read a book hungrily. She is in a hard season in her marriage, and this book was recommended to her. When this author sat down to write this book, she had no idea that this woman would one day hold it in her hands like a lifeline.
In today’s Tuesday Tip, let’s examine three ways to tap into the needs of your reader.
1. Share your story, but don’t write in a bubble
You were raised in a specific denomination (or not). You are impacted by your culture. You live in a specific community. You experience unique circumstances.
All of these shapes your story and they are important.
As you write, be open to listening to the viewpoint of other women. Step into community that differs from your own from time to time. As we listen to their stories, we are better equipped to share ours in a way that connects.
2. Test your topic
I had an idea that I loved. I shared it with a handful of my closest face-to-face and online friends. I didn’t ask if they thought it was a great idea. I simply tossed out the topic to see where it landed. This idea stirred conversation. My friends were passionate about it.
Testing your topic isn’t asking if they like your book idea. It’s seeing if it connects because of the message. It’s weighing whether it creates meaningful conversation. When I did this recently, I had my answer. One idea became a really great blog post. Another idea was tossed out. The last one? It’s my next book!
It’s important to know what you are good at. It’s equally important to know what you “don’t know.” As readers and friends respond to a topic, listen to them. Don’t step in to offer pat answers. Step into their shoes for a moment. Hear their needs. If they introduce a question or need that you haven’t addressed, this is valuable. You can research to fill those gaps.
When we listen to our audience, we move from an “expert” to a friend.
Write down one way you can intentionally step outside of your own experiences to listen to the story and viewpoint of another.
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