Readers are attracted to like-minded writers. People generally read to relax, and to have their current world-view affirmed and reinforced by cool, exciting folk that live a special, exciting life. This is part of the illusion of escape; readers, many of them, if not all, want to believe in a fairy-like land where a noble author sits at a roaring fireside (or, you know, a minimalist office all in white, depending), and pens exquisite morsels of perfect prose on the first try. Readers want to believe in a heightened extension of whatever kind of world they believe in in the first place. To gain your ideal reader, you must express, coherently, the strongest version of your true self.
Wait, A True Self?!
Every human body is made of energy and matter; your emotions, whatever they may regularly be, are an alchemical product of your individual thoughts, your mental framework, and the physical health of your body and spirit. When I say spirit, I am speaking of the flow of energy that passes daily through your body. All human beings have a unique combination of energy, of emotional cocktails, and of detailed beliefs about “the way the world works,” and “reality.”
What does this have to do with writing?
Writing fiction is the process of performing, with your emotions and spirit, in the vehicle of the written word. Creating fantasy and science fiction worlds relies on a particular, somewhat reliable set of assumptions about morality, reality, and human relationships (and we can talk about that on another day). In order to write your best and strongest work, you need to accentuate what you already are; you need to understand your personal brand.
But How Does One Understand That?
Within yourself, right now, is a surge of potential energy; it is lurking somewhere near the lower half of your spine. If you focus your mind, and imagine this surge of energy, you will get a gradual sense of emotion; that is your branding. When you learn to write down a coherent and consistent trail of that potent sense of self, your readers, like woodland birds, will begin to follow the trail, and to peck at your soul, much as a bird would consume crumbs along a forest path. The goal, in your pursuit of the Ultimate Body of Dedicated Fans, is to so alter your energy management that you can present, openly, a great feast of your soul to all comers. Readers who share, or who are complemented by, your particular emotions and spiritual branding, will flock to this feast, and consume your work.
That Sounds Pretty Macabre
Human relationships are composed of taking, giving, and sharing energy. Predators steal; friends give freely; families, ideally, nurture with strategic gifts of energy. You are ultimately the only one who can cultivate from yourself edible work, in the sense of writing words and stories that other humans can safely and enjoyably read. Think of yourself, and of your body and mind, as a garden that has the potential to bear expensive and rare fruits (for authentic stories told straight from the human spirit are both valuable and rare). Cultivate yourself with the same care and attention that you would give a valuable plot of garden, and when you have isolated within yourself the taste of you, of your unique combination of lived experience and inherent spiritual composition, you will be ready and able to offer your soul in the form of fiction, and that is when you will begin to gain dedicated and loyal readers.
That Sounds Long, Hard, and Complicated. What Can I Do Right Now?
You are already writing the stories that you need to tell; what you need to ask yourself, right this second, is who you are currently allowing to influence (to add to, or to take away from) the true story you form from yourself. Weed out these outside influences, and your abilities will grow faster than you can imagine.
That’s All For Now
You can earn the readers that you dream of when you see yourself as the tree from which your fiction-fruit grows. Nurture your true self; weed out influences from the outside; trust your deep sense of self. When readers find, in your writing, an echo of themselves, they will follow you, and buy your books.
You’ve been reading a blog about writing by Victor Poole. You can find my tasty books here.
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