Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Meeting the Felt Need

Net's Notations: All About the Reader Series-Part 3

You hear about “felt need” all the time in Christian publishing. There are workshops dedicated to helping you find it and address it. What is the felt need?

Ever wondered if there’s a book out there on … pick a topic: life after divorce? adoption? caring for aging parents? Likely, you’ve found at least a few books on your chosen topic. But what if you don't? As a writer, you can address it yourself.

Nonfiction writers do this all the time—discover a need in the marketplace regarding meeting a need in people’s hearts. A new how-to approach to the lasting marriage. A fantastic slant on parenting. A great how-to on recovering from addiction.

But fiction writers can also address a felt need.

Jesus did this.

His heart wrenched with compassion as He gazed on the crowds. He had the advantage of seeing into everyone’s private thoughts and lives and knowing their pain. As He sat with them on the hillside or preached to them from the boat at the water’s edge, He addressed their felt needs through parables—stories which were relatable and poignant, illustrating truth and offering wisdom and solutions.

We are not God. We cannot see everyone’s deepest thoughts. But each of us has a resource for knowing other’s pain—our own hearts.

Dig deep inside. Ask yourself: what need(s) do I have that have gone unaddressed in books? Or what new slant can I offer in my writing (fiction or non-fiction) that will speak to people’s needs? And how can I humbly offer some wisdom, solutions, or light in the midst of darkness?

Being a Christian and a writer, you are striving to be like Jesus as you write. So, why not develop your words as He did—by seeking to meet the felt need?

Minister to your readers because, after all, it is all about the reader.

Write on!



  1. Great post. I try hard to find and write from a need perspective.

  2. Thanks, Terri. God bless you in your writing!

    Annette (Net)

  3. If only the needs we see out there were echoed more closely in what the publishers are buying. I see so many books that look to me as a buyer like "same old, same old." Then I remind myself my job as writer is to tell the BEST story I can, and let God take care of meeting the need.

    One friend told me before I first sold: "Deb, if there's one person who needs healing, and can get it from this book, no power on earth can stop it." Good words.

  4. Hi Deb, I agree with your friend's summation. To be true to ourselves, we have to write from the passion of our hearts. Then, we have to let God take it from there. He's got a plan whether in us as we write, or in the reader as s/he reads, or both.



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