“Know your audience”. As a writer, that’s a common phrase that gets overlooked. It basically means, make sure you’re authentic to the target group. If I’m writing romance, I’d better throw in some good conversation, cuddle time, and ambiance. A great thriller should include twists and turns, dark skies, and lots of action.
The trilogy I’m working on is writing itself. Megan and I hash out our thoughts and ideas, then put them on paper; always pleasantly surprised at the progress. We try to stay true to our genre, adding little elements of everything here and there. Researching what we don’t know, clarifying what we do.
It didn’t dawn on me until today, that in the back of my head, I’ve been keenly aware of my blog readers. I no longer just write whatever it is I feel like (although it often seems that way!). I pay attention to who comments on which posts, and I let that feed my writings.
I desire to hear so much more from Mary, Lisa, Dan, Lara… and everyone who reads and comments. But more than that, I desire to know them.
“Know your audience” is more than the push to recognize a grouping, to see them as a superficial utility; an end to the means of my writing. It’s to seek out their tastes and flavors and styles and preferences. To know my audience means I invest in them. I invest my time and energy and interest. To ask the questions. To listen to the answers. To pay attention to them, to treasure all they have to offer.
I don’t know each of my readers on the same level I know my family and close friends. But I know them. I know they value my writing, and that’s encouraging to me. I know they let me encourage them (at least, I hope I do!). I don’t ever want to stop learning about my family, my friends; about love and life and everything in between.
As Cris says, I’m fairly transparent with my blog posts. I kinda have to be. I don’t know any other way to write than to be Real. I trust my readers to be real in return. To call me on the carpet when they don’t agree (thanks, Mom!), to support me when they do. I get comments filled with humor, sincerity, trust… and I know they mean it. Because they know me.
And in return, I have this to offer: Humor. Sincerity. Trust. And many, many e-hugs and smilie-cons.
It’s a start. And a journey.
I am, after all, a Some-Kind-of-Adventure Girl.