I tell our authors this all the time, especially the first time ones: “Try to write to everyone and you’ll be writing to no one.”
It’s far better to have a clearly defined target reader in mind as you write, the person who will be most impacted by your work, and shine a laser beam on that person. Others will naturally be attracted by the power of the laser beam, versus scattering your attention via a large spotlight to every reader you think might possibly even somewhat maybe kinda enjoy your book. An author’s specific point of view shines through the page as an irresistible reader magnet!
The caveat that comes along with specificity, is accepting the fact that some people will like your writing, and some people will not. It’s making the decision to forgo universal popularity in favor of speaking your truth as an author.
“But Christine, shouldn’t I also be concerned about selling enough books, because I sure as heck know that’s what my publisher is concerned about!”
Yes and no. Yes, of course you want to reach as many people as possible and see that reach reflected back to you in the form of book sales (and other forms of ROI for today’s savvy entrepreneurial authors). But if you become overly obsessed with this idea of “reaching everyone” you risk producing a watered down generic book with no clear narrative voice – a book that ultimately stands for nothing. And as an author, producing cloudy weightless words, ones that have no capacity to create change in any reader, should be a horrifying thought to you.
Trust in the laser beam of your unique powerful author voice, story, and message. Trust that the work you’ve done in developing, nurturing, and writing it, will shine through. Don’t back down in the name of writing something you believe (or others tell you) will be “popular.” While some may find value in selling their souls, as authors, our souls are the sources of our work.
PS: Having trouble balancing the business & creative side of writing a book? Schedule your complimentary consultation with me and I’ll help you chart a path to success in both areas!