“Who do you love?” it was Bo Didley who first asked the question in a rock and roll song in
1957, and it was just as relevant in a song released by the Chainsmokers in 2019, and it is even more
relevant when you sit down to write your first or you next great manuscript.
Knowing who you are writing for it critical not only for determining the topic but for the way
you address it. Speaking your readers language is critical if you home to have them receive the message
of your writings.
In a previous lifetime I spend 15 years as a farm broadcaster, and there is not place easier that a
radio studio to loose touch with your audience. You are all alone in a soundproof both, most times you
have not idea if there is anyone other than the sound engineer if he is listening and you are not even sure
about your Mom. The only way to find out if anyone is listening is to make a mistake and then watch the
boss’s phone lines light up.
When I worked in this situation I had three farmers who I knew and thought of before any piece
of information went to air. If it did not appeal to one of these farmers it did not go to air, that simple.
So I suggest that you define who you are writing for and hone in on an individual. I like to ask
my clients about the age, the education level and a few more traits before we start writing. Remember that
if you try to be everything to everybody you end up being nothing to anybody. If you write a good book
for a target audience it will be picked up by others, if you write a washy manuscript that says nothing it
will be read by no one.
I like to give our reader a name, it just makes them easier to identify when we sit down to write.
Get to know “Francis” as well as you can that way you can invite them to sit down with you
every time you sit down to write. I even suggest sitting at a table so that you can have your imaginary
friend across from you rather than a wall that forces you to stare are a painted surface who you look up.
Now when you sit down you have Francis with you and you are just talking to them. This title
trick helps keep you writing in a conversation language and keeps you on track to the message you are
trying to deliver.
Having a clear picture of who you are wiring for also helps you determine what type of anecdote
you are going to use. I have worked with several Olympic hockey players and one of the first questions I
ask them, “is this a hockey book for fans or is this a people book that uses hockey examples?” When you
have decided that we have decided how many hockey stories we are going to tell and at what depth we
will delve in to them. Anyone can handle a few hockey stories but the fan wants the smell of the
equipment bag and that is a different style of writing.