Picture this before you write

Picture It!

Picture this when you write by The Zebra Ink

Who are you writing to?

That’s right! If you want to keep your writing focused and on track, create a picture in your mind of who you are writing for. Not unlike picking an avatar of who your ideal client might be in business. If you keep focused on who the ideal person is to read whatever you are writing, the process will go so much smoother and makes a lasting impression.

Get as specific as possible. Why do they need to read this? What do you hope that they will get out of it? What will their takeaway be? What do they like to do? What are their interests and where do they hang out? Does their appearance make a difference? For instance, if you are writing a book or article about the struggles of losing weight, your avatar will probably not be someone underweight.

Identify what their experience is in whatever topic it is that you are writing about. You don’t want to use advanced vocabulary if beginners are going to be the primary audience. If you deem that the audience will need a glossary of terms or an appendix filled with explanations of advanced concepts, you can be sure to include that.

When I am writing a non-fiction book, I try to find a picture out of a magazine of what I think my ideal reader might be. And keep it in front of me when I am writing.Having the “picture” helps me to focus, but it also allows me to do something that may appear to be a bit strange and old fashioned. I literally use that image to write the article or book as a letter to that person. I think about what exactly it is that they should know, and then I write that. It makes the writing very personal. When writing like a letter it creates an intimacy with the reader and you will use vocabulary that resonates with the reader. You will often hear things like, “When I read that, it was like you were writing it just for me.”  That is the best outcome! It makes an impact and enables the reader to create a conversation with the people in his or her circle. That is exactly what you want!

If you are having trouble focusing on what you want to say and how you want to say it – literally picture that reader and then write just to that reader. You will achieve the outcome and impact you desire!

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