The rest of this week I’m focusing on tools for anyone who wants to be an author.  Many ask me how to get started so here a few simple ways to begin.

I personally believe everyone has a story to tell, minimally your own life story.  Truth is, you have a story and someone out there needs your story. 

Tool #1 — Who’s Your Reader?

Who are you writing to?  Imagine that person sitting down, reading your words.  How are they moved?  What takes place in their heart as they hear your stories?  Do you want them to DO something in response, i.e. change their mind, try something different, look at the world with new perspectives?

Answering these questions helps you aim your words and take the focus off of you, putting it on your reader.  Writing for the reader is a crucial exercise, and it IS an exercise, something you practice and over time, get better at doing.

The publisher told me when I wrote my first book, “Climbing the Ladder in Stilettos,” to “write the book you wish someone had given you while starting your career.”  It helped me picture my target woman and what her needs might be.  I imagined the two of us sitting on my front porch, sharing a glass of iced team, talking about life, struggles, career challenges.  What would I tell her?  Those were the words I wrote.

It’s a real joy when a reader writes to me now, saying, “I felt like you were telling MY story,” since that’s exactly what I was aiming to do!

Being an author is less about the author and more about the reader, moving them, compelling their ideas and heart toward a desired end.

Once you know your target reader, study that demographic.  What else are they reading? What are their pain points, struggles, needs, desires, preferences?  What other books are reaching them and how can yours fill a void or a target niche?

As you get to know your reader while writing, later when it’s time to market your book to that same audience, you’ll be better prepared to aim there with confidence.

Tomorrow, tool #2….

A surprise reader!  Thrilled when a friend shared this photo, obviously a gifted child with tremendous career potential!!

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