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Today’s writing prompt is: FIRST
Yesterday I shared about how often I cried in Starbucks while writing my memoir, A Place to Land (affiliate link).
Almost every time it happened, I would ask myself, “Is this even worth it? Why am I putting myself through this agony?”
I still asked myself that question even after the book published, but the Lord was so gracious to give me glimpses into how He used the story in readers’ lives. Sometimes I receive emails or direct messages on social media; other times I read reviews on Amazon. In each instance, I’m amazed by how the Lord is faithful to take our humble offerings and use them for the good of His people and for His glory.
A few times when I shared my woes on social media during the emotional writing process, people commented, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.”
I guess it’s true because I can’t tell you how many people accused me of making them cry after reading my book — even people I don’t even know!
My point is: If you want your readers to experience a certain emotion, you have to go there yourself.
You have to feel the same deep, raw, genuine emotions you want your readers to feel when they read your work — otherwise the words will likely come across as shallow and superficial.
Do your readers a favor — no, do yourself a favor — and do the hard work of digging deep. You can’t take your readers with you if you don’t go there first yourself to lead the way.
Not only will your readers have a richer experience, but you will have a richer experience as well.