Communication

A visit to the Writer’s Digest 25 Ways to Improve Your Writing in 30 Minutes a Day tip article offers us this:

18. Communication
Good writing connects with readers. For each piece you write, ask yourself:

  1. Who is my audience? Imagine the people you’d most like to reach.
  2. What do I want the experience and result of this piece to be? What do I want readers to know or believe? How do I want them to feel? What do I want them to do when they’re finished reading?
  3. How will I measure my ability to deliver on these goals? Workshop it in a writing group? Post it on my blog? Submit it to a publication?

Pay attention to feedback. You’ll start to see the types of people and publications that are attracted to what you write, how you’re meeting their needs (or not), and opportunities for becoming more effective.
—Cohen

Let’s examine all of Mr. Cohen’s questions as it pertains to this blog.

Who is my audience?

You, and me.  And I suspect that you all are just like me:

  • Relatively new to writing seriously (whatever that means),
  • Reaching out trying to find an audience for your work, and
  • Eager to learn everything you can about the craft of writing.

Not only do I think you are probably a lot like me, but you are probably interested in the same things I am.  You’re a creative bunch, so you’ll put up with a few picture posts, but you’re probably more interested in how other folks like you handle the landmines hiding in the path to authorship.  Though you all hit the picture-posts of my dog pretty hard, you hit the posts describing my publishing milestones even more.  That tells me a lot.

What do I want the experience and result of this piece to be? What do I want readers to know or believe? How do I want them to feel? What do I want them to do when they’re finished reading?

Okay, we won’t go through all those questions.  Let’s pick out the juicy one: How do I want them to feel?

I want you to feel like you’re in trustworthy hands; that my honest portrayal of my writing journey is an accurate description of what you might encounter on the same trail.  I also want you to know that I’m not a quitter.  I’m in it for the long haul.  I hope you’ll come back to learn with me at each quaky step I make towards FAME AND FORTUNE.  (sorry, that whole delusional thing… 😮 )

How will I measure my ability to deliver on these goals?

WordPress makes this super easy.  With the Stats page, I can keep track of all sorts of things like daily hits on each post, which links folks follow, which link brought them here, and so much more.  I don’t track the stats too much, but I do glance at the summary figure on my dashboard.  I figure the higher the bar, the better.  I’ll use that to gauge my success on this blog.  As long as I’m meeting or exceeding the monthly average traffic per day, it means I’m reaching you.

That was a good exercise.  Of course, I picked the easiest writing project to apply this to, but still.

Happy Writing. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Communication

  1. WordPress does make it easy to see what people like, like on my poetry blog. I can see how many click the stars and how many click the like button and of course the comments. I can see pretty quickly which poems are flops and which ones are more liked. Showing who liked what also helps me to see the audience. You have such great articles, keep it up.

    1. I think there are two things that attract folks: content and the effective use of your medium. That’s one thing you can’t tease out from the stats, but otherwise, they are pretty darn useful.

      Thank you, Randall, and you, too, keep at those great poems. 🙂

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