Are you struggling to find your writing voice in a sea of words? The problem could be because you don’t know who you’re writing to.
When I wrote my first novel, I really thought that I was writing it for myself. I mean, of course, I wanted other people to like it. That’s kinda the point. But, I was creating a story that I liked—one that I would love to read. Along the way, I certainly did entertain myself with all the antics the characters in my mind created. But, more and more I found myself tweaking the story with thoughts of what the reader would like.
By the time the book was finished, I realized that I hadn’t written it for myself at all. I still loved it with all my heart and soul, but I’d come to see it as a labor of love for others. I even came to picture one particular (made up) person when I thought of someone reading and enjoying my story.
Every book since, has been written to that same woman, whoever she may be. I even named her Mab. Why I chose the fairy queen’s name I’ll never know. Maybe it was because I wanted her to just be misunderstood…and really into Urban Fantasy. 😉 Knowing she would read and love my book gave me a bit of comfort and made it marginally easier for the words to come.
While I was merely following my clueless little heart back then, the fact is that I was onto something. Creating an avatar, or ideal reader, is one of the most important things to know when you begin writing. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, novels or blog posts, knowing who you’re writing to will help to make your writing better. Because let’s face it, you’re not going to please everyone. Knowing the interests of the one person who signifies your ideal reader, will narrow down the focus for your writing.No matter what you write, finding your voice can be tough, so knowing who you want to hear that voice is important.Click To Tweet
For fiction writers, it’s a little easier because you are using your imagination, so you could throw a wild west scene into your space fantasy as long as the wild west is on some new and never explored before planet. But knowing what your ideal reader likes will help you continue to sell books because you can’t go from writing steamy romance novels to writing a military documentary and expect the same readers to enjoy both.
In blogging, it’s just as important to know exactly who your ideal reader is. Knowing that person, at least thinking that you know them since they’re technically made up, will make your writing more personable. The best bloggers are those that help their ideal reader. If you don’t know who that person is, then it’s hard to pinpoint how to help them. No matter what you write, finding your voice in the written word can be tough, so knowing who you want to hear that voice is important.
Here are some questions to help you get to know who you’re writing to.
1. What are your reader’s hobbies and interests? What do they like to do in their spare time (besides reading what you’re writing)?
2. What are your reader’s beliefs? What do they feel strongly about? This could be religious, political, or even social beliefs.
3. What is the key stressor in their life? What keeps them up at night?
4. What is your reader’s biggest hope? What is their dream? What is that one thing they would like to achieve more than anything else?
5. What does your reader’s daily schedule look like? Are they overworked and underpaid? Are they at the top of their game but burned-out?
Of course, these are just the beginning. Depending on what genre or niche you write in, you will have other questions for your avatar that are more specific to your field. But regardless, the more you know about the person you’re writing for, the better you’ll be able to write for them.
So, I told you about my avatar. Who is yours? Come on, don’t be shy. Leave a comment and tell me about them.