Hey Writer, have you landed in a trap? The main focus becomes how to get a response, and then the emotionally-charged treadmill starts up and rolls on. It makes sense, really. Writing is unique in its process. A writer gathers thoughts and ideas for an audience to see and unpack later. Eyes may land on the screen seconds after clicking publish, or they may take it all in years later on fresh pages with a cover. In any case, writers live for the moment of engagement, don’t we? (I can be impatient and, a little like Veruca Salt, I want it n-n-n-now! How about you?)
The common thread between both moments of engagement with the good words is the reader. Don’t miss this. Writer, you simply must imagine someone sitting across the table from you. This is a conversation, even if time and distance intrudes. And there is something else that will change the way you write.
It’s a gift!
Many of us know we have a talent for writing, but it’s more than that. In fact, if that’s all it is, the treadmill waits for you. You’ll be evaluating your talent by engagement, and that’s a terrible emotional ride.
Can I challenge you? Instead of a talent mindset, think about your good words as a gift. You offer an opportunity for readers to engage. Imagine giving your audience the very best gift you can afford. Your heart, mind, and love through words is a gift to your readers. That means you’re not tossing the gift at them in the plastic shopping bag with a receipt. You’re taking the time to prepare and present your very best.
Maybe it looks a little like this:
The right gift. When you choose a gift for someone, the best gift is selected with the recipient in mind. Likes and dislikes are considered. Quality is checked. The art is created out of love for the reader. While you’re not responsible for how the gift is received, take special time and effort to choose to love someone with your gift.
Ribbons, not strings. The precious gift you choose is presented beautifully, and you’ll will take time to wrap it and tie a pretty bow. But because it is a gift, it has no expectations or strings attached. Offer the best gift with your unique flair and presentation. Then wait patiently for the recipient’s response without pressing heavily or guilting anyone.
Sacred moments. The moment a reader’s eyes take it all in is sacred. You chose, prepared, and presented the gift. Now the audience has an opportunity. Love this moment, but hold it loosely. Let the gift pass from your hands to the reader’s. Sit back and enjoy the opportunity you’ve offered.
Remember: you’re not trying to get anything. That will change your perspective in a hurry. You will write for your audience out of love for them. You’ll be comfortable in your niche (and your own skin!). This is where you, the writer, will thrive! You’ll fulfill the calling on your life using the talent you have to give a gift to the audience you’ve been given.
Writer, you have a gift to give. Now give it.