Most of my published articles are written for the inspirational market so I’m seeking an emotional connection with readers. How do I make this connection? By feeling the words I write. My words and my feelings connect with the reader because, in effect, I’m writing what she is experiencing, what she is feeling and what I just successfully navigated through.
Here are a few ways you can feel the words you write.
Write from your personal experience. The human condition is the same for all of us. We all have joyous and tragic moments. We all love the magic of a wedding, the birth of a child or the pride in a major achievement. We all experience disappointments, heartaches, illness, watch loved ones succumb, and traverse through life transitions. What challenge did you face and successfully overcome? What emotions prevailed through that challenge? What were your lessons learned? In your writing, speak to that challenge, those emotions and those lessons learned to inspire your reader through their valley. We all sojourn through the valley before reaching the mountain top.
Explore the depth of your heart & hurt and then expose it. I have found a direct correlation between the “depth of exposed pain” and reader response. Readers have contacted me from across the country the very night they read one of my stories off the magazine rack in a Barnes & Noble store. One reader on the other side of the world (India) wrote to me after reading another story published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Why? I believe it’s because I exposed the depth of the pain in my heart when I wrote about how my father died a slow death from Alzheimer’s disease. Don’t share surface emotion; reveal the depth of your pain. I love the way poet Robert Frost expressed this truth: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader…”
Write with compassion for the reader. When we write an article or story where we conquered a difficult situation, we need to write it with the motive to help the reader also emerge victorious. Most readers of both fiction and non-fiction place themselves in the position of the main character and wonder what they would do in the same predicament. When you’re writing non-fiction your reader is just a few steps behind you in their experience. They stand at the fork in the road. They’re looking for the road sign your story provides. And they’re hoping you and your keyboard provide that proverbial light. Write with compassion for them because they may follow the path your writing reveals.
Try these three things to connect emotionally with your readers and have them connect emotionally with your writing. After all, if you feel the words you write, your readers will too.