Writing a story gives you an opportunity to raise an issue and provides the characters with a means to demonstrate possible scenarios. Stories enter our mind on a different, more accepting level than instructions, opinions or statements. For this reason, authors or speakers often use a story to convey a powerful truth or principle; even show a controversial viewpoint without causing offence.
Providing certain techniques are used, a story can inspire faith, courage and hope. An inspiring story can cause the reader to evaluate the moral or lesson; it can also motivate the reader to do something and provide the desire to do it. The richer the writer can inspire, the more effective the outcome will be.
So what are the secrets to writing such effective inspiration? Here’s what I have learned from over 20 years as a writer of inspiring works:
There are 3 vital ingredients necessary to make your writing inspiring and effective:
1. Know and understand the needs of your audience. Your ultimate goal as a writer is to create a good relationship with your reader. Have empathy with your readers by understanding their problems and struggles. You will build mutual trust and respect when you do . Only then will your readers allow you to touch their heart. People can spot a phoney a mile off. Sincerity carries love into your writing.
2. Show your empathy by honestly sharing your pain and challenges. When you identify who your reader is, you will know what situations or circumstances they are likely to relate to emotionally. Write relatable “pain points” (emotional triggers) into the story.
For example, if your target readers are business people, write about some of the pain business people suffer. These could be cash flow problems, deadline stress, time constraints or long working hours and the toll that takes on family. Explain how you inwardly struggle with this – providing it is true of course. Doing so, will give your reader common ground upon which to build a relationship with you.
If your target readers are working moms, you might mention in your story the daily commitment of dropping-off your child at a child care centre and afternoon pick ups. Or how you suffer the pain of regular traffic hassles, time restraints and constantly juggling your job demands with home and family matters. Everyone has problems, difficulties and issues – discover the ones affecting your readers and identify them.
It comes back to knowing and understanding the problems and needs of the persons reading your work. So firstly, identify who your target audience are. Then ask yourself what pain do we share? When you are clear on these two points, then ask yourself what can I write into my story that would build common ground and inspiration for them?
Asking and answering these questions will not only establish common ground but a sure fire way to inspire them, remember these things are not the focus of your story, but subtle mentions within the story can build empathy and relationship between the writer and the reader. You will show your readers you are just like them and live a similar life to theirs; common ground builds author-writer relationships.
3. Be authentic and sincere; provide hope or a way forward. Whether you are writing a how-to article, an inspiring short story, even a novel; the way to generate inspiration and build relationship is to be sincere. If writing an article and word usage is limited, don’t focus on the problem or the stress. A brief mention could be enough to create empathy. However, write in details on how you felt with a situation.and provide your readers with a possible solution or hope. Authentic inspiring writing will give readers rewards such as:
- finding a potential solution to a problem
- insight for understanding another’s point of view
- inspiration for implementing a positive life change
- generally feeling good and edified
- gaining hope for the future
- learning about the author or story’s main character
- personal encouragement or insight.
Adding these 3 vital ingredients to your writing will provide your reader with value and benefit. If your reader believes you are sincere and reliable, they will connect with you on an emotional level and give you the opportunity to inspire them. What an honor and a privilege you have. Seize it with passion!