Everything has a message. Media is everywhere. We’re pummeled by images, logos, brands, tag lines, phrases, and more words than we can comprehend. It’s exhausting and our brains get sick of it.
Part of what makes being an author so insane is finding readers. I never aspired to be a writer, people asked me to write something and when I did it was suggested that I publish my thoughts. The response was so good I just kept doing it.
I have always loved writing; publishing is another story. But when you find yourself in the center of a circle of readers there is a unique bond and a sense of responsibility. Agents and big wigs understand this too well. The pressure to find your niche is incomparable.
The necessity is ever important.
With our population growing exponentially and new ideas sparking finding an audience is more about connecting with whatever eccentricities you share than just telling a good story. The stories need to have more. They need to pop, sizzle, and bang.
I’ve never bought into the, “write for yourself,” ideal. It sounds great. It’s very inspiring. But that’s what journals and diaries are for. Authors must write for their readers. Writing for your audience means putting aside your politics or gracefully presenting them in a way that people connect with.
This is where it sucks being a minority. If the majority of people in this country celebrate Christmas and your silly Pagan self celebrates Yule, writing about that is nice but you’re not going to reach as many people because there are some things others will not fully grasp.
Being true to yourself while still lending your voice to others is thin balance. One must fit in enough to be accepted and stand out enough to lead in storytelling. It reminds me of one of my favorite children’s books: Silly Suzy Goose. By Petr Horacek.
In this goofy kid’s book the goose tries to act like as many other animals as she can. It’s fun at first, but when she angers a lion it threatens her safety. She has to react fast, trust her instincts, and rejoin the flock to keep from being eaten.
I’m a mom and a giant 5 year old so children’s books will always embody the purest of lessons, in my eyes. Like Suzy I genre hopped. It was fun for a while but there are sharp teeth waiting to bite you in this industry. Most everyone is kind and helpful, unfortunately there are always a few glaring eyes watching in the shadows.
To avoid publishing suicide an author needs to express themselves as an individual, yes. Unfortunately we also like to push too far sometimes. Don’t ever forget where you came from and the importance of your community, your readers, your niche, and mainly your heritage (that’s where your instincts come from).
Everyone deserves to celebrate where they came from and their future. The best way to do this is by writing for your audience. It’ll keep you from getting swallowed up. Keep your heart in it always. Your readers are the people who best understand your work. They are your “flock.”
Listen to fan mail, messages, and comments. It will lead you to great places.
3 thoughts on “Knowing your Audience”
Yes, it’s crucial to know one’s audience, but it’s also possible we’re going to attract readership we wouldn’t have thought of before.
Knowing your audience is so important. Learning to better market myself was one reason I started blogging. In the process I have learned a little marketing and how to write to a market.
Thanks for this post.
That and you get to meet some really cool people haha