Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello, Audience! Who are you?

Do you remember the story I shared about the kindergarten art competition my brother won? The reason I believe he won is that first, he put some thought into his drawing (before he picked up a crayon) and second, he understood his audience.

He titled his drawing, “A School of Fish.” Now what kindergarten art judge wouldn’t appreciate that kind of ingenuity?

More often than not, we can learn fundamental lessons from the elementary.

For instance, have you ever started a writing project and then asked yourself, “Who am I really trying to reach and why?”

I finished re-reading a book my brother lent me called The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. (Side note: I strongly recommend this book if you need help thinking outside the box.)

In his chapter on “The Power of Your Own Small Army,” he asks readers to carefully consider whom they want their audience to be.

In addition, he challenges them to ask what he calls “The Reason Why.” In other words, why should someone care about what you have to offer?

He writes:
“In the English language alone, there are now more than 110 million blogs being regularly updated. Why should someone care about yours or mine? …. If you can turn the tables and look at your project with this kind of brutally honest thinking, you’ll quickly see whether or not you provide a good ‘reason why’ …”

You may have different audiences and reasons, depending on your writing project. For example, my blog is targeted towards writers looking to self-publish, but on a larger scale, it is truly for anyone who wants to achieve their dreams and express their ideas.

On the other hand, my Christian fiction writing is targeted to a young adult audience and families looking for entertaining, clean and thought-provoking reading.

Have you asked yourself who your audience is? And have you given them a good reason to take an interest in what you have to say?

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