Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Approaching Readers With Care

Booksigning at the Mall of America in 2008 ACFW members

If you’ve been around a while (Seriously Write celebrates two years this week! Thanks, readers!!), you may have seen my All About the Readers Series. (Click the link for the first post, then use the tags to navigate to the others.) That’s my philosophy, because it helps us keep our focus on ministry and not on ourselves. If we keep readers in the forefront of our minds while we’re writing, we’ll likely speak directly to them as they’re reading. If we’re prayerful, God will speak to them.

As a reader, it’s happened to me. How about you? A passage speaks directly to you as if the author had both read your mail and decided to broadcast it. Of course, they don’t know the words on the page are for you. Whew. You’re safe. J And blessed. God has just met you personally. Through fiction! But we already knew God could use fiction to speak to us, didn’t we?! ;)

We writers will have opportunities to meet with readers beyond when they’re holding our work in their hands. Booksignings, grocery stores, conferences, churches, these are all places to meet with our readers.

So, how do we approach them with care?

~ Listen to your reader. Remember, it’s not about us. Let them share more than you do, unless they ask you a question. Prayerfully watch for ways to bless them or minister to them. Be gracious, hospitable. Set an example.

~ Be yourself. No need to put on airs. There are plenty of unreachable people in the world. Don’t be one of those. Be accessible in that moment, relatable. Readers read to know they’re not alone. So, be friendly, Christlike, compassionate. Let God use you to express His heart to them.

 ~ Respect readers. They’re smart, savvy, gracious, critical, and they make up an army. So, handle them respectfully. We’re all peers.

~ Treat everyone the same. God is no respecter of persons. We shouldn’t be either. This is a tough one. But if we aren’t treating people the same, we’re actually devaluing someone somewhere. And that isn’t Christlike.

So, whether you’re blogging, penning a novel, or socializing, remember to always approach readers with care.           

2 comments:

  1. So true. I find the same with speaking - when people come up to you afterward, I try to remember what my goal for the speech was - to minister. Talking to our audience at a book signing or after speaking at an event is part of the package to be handled carefully.

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  2. Thanks, Jan. There are lots of applications for this principle, aren't there? It's kind of an overall, this-is-how-a-Christian-should-approach-people truth. :) Thanks for reading!

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