You sit down to write a book or even an article, and often the first thing that comes to mind is the topic, the ideas. Which is great! But before you put pen to paper, spend a moment thinking about your reader.
No I don't mean all your readers, with all their diverse needs and wants. That would overwhelm anyone! Think about the one person this piece is going to help.That is your key reader, your avatar. All your writings on the topic should be directed specifically to that person.
One of the biggest issues I see when working with new writers is a lack of focus in their writing. They are putting pen to paper to share ideas and thoughts without any consideration for who their avatar is, or what that person specifically needs.
So, as an example, when I started writing my new book series on STE(A)M activities, there are so many different ways I could approach my project. To maintain focus and clarity on the topic, I needed to identify my key reader and get to know them like a best friend.
To get to know them, I'm going to ask a few questions:
Are they are parent or educator?
Are they experienced with STE(A)M work or brand new to these types of activities?
Do they have a good budget to buy supplies or are they working on a shoestring?
What ages are their children?
Are they working with a large or small group of kids?
Do they need adaptations for special needs?
Do they have lots of time for activities or need quick and easy solutions?
The list goes on and I'm sure you can see how once you start answering the questions, new ones crop up. This is exactly why you need to go through this process. It will guide your writing and presentation of information. You will begin seeing opportunities to answer questions before your readers even ask them.
This is what will make your work stand out in the crowd.
Here are a few questions to help you get started:
Is your avatar a male or female?
How old are they?
What do they desire most?
What is their biggest struggle?
What can you offer that is going to help them solve a major problem they are facing?
You might wonder if focusing on writing to your new best friend Avatar will narrow your piece too much, but in fact it will do the opposite. By focusing on your avatar you will cater your piece so well to their needs that others will see themselves in that person, or perhaps their friends, and start feeling a true connection to your writings.
Your readers will feel that you truly understand them.
So next time you sit down to write an article, blog post or book, take a few moments to think about your key reader. Give them a name, think about their lives, and learn as much as you can about them and their needs. You will find it makes a big difference in your writings and will help you overcome any writer's block you may experience. Best of all, readers will start to truly connect with your pieces because you are connecting with your readers before you even start writing.