You’ve heard the one about the perfectionist who walked into the bar…?
Apparently the bar wasn’t set high enough.
Lots of writers are perfectionists. Lots of perfectionists are writers. Funny how that happens. And of course, all of us perfectionist writers (Go on, raise your hand!) strive for the perfect content, perfectly executed, so that we can live happily ever after until the next deadline.
In a previous post, https://skillnosh.com/?p=34472&preview=true, I talked about the first of the 3 R’s of good writing: being REAL.
Last week, I demonstrated the second R: being RELATABLE to your reader:https://skillnosh.com/so-write-about-that-part-2/
This week, I’m tackling the last, and perhaps, biggest “R”: delivering up content that is totally, supremely RELEVANT. There’s nothing that will stab the frail, scattered wisps of your reader’s attention and literally staple it in place, like a topic that speaks directly to their heart, soul, and/or mind; (preferably all three!).
The million-dollar question is this: How can you gauge your readers’ interests well enough to make your writing relevant when we are all just so vastly different? A typical Shabbos meal with even a handful of guests will likely feature extroverts and introverts, gluten-frees and gluten-fiends, differing political views, polar-opposite interests, hobbies and personalities, and the list goes on. So how do we stay relevant?
It’s interesting because I believe Chazal offer an important perspective on this question in two profound ideas they teach:
1. (ברכות נב.). חנו רבנן…שאין דעתם דומה זה לזה ואין פרצופיהן דומים זה לזה: Our Rabbis teach that…their ways of thinking are different from each other and their faces are different from one another.
2. (משלי כ”ז: י”ט) כמים הפנים לפנים כן לב האדם לאדם: As in water, face reflects to face, so is the heart of a man to a man.
In over two decades of writing, I’ve learned an astonishing truth: we all have so much more in common than we think! In fact, I would argue that the similarities we share with each other are far greater than our differences. Simply put, that means that when I tap into something that truly inspires/motivates/empowers/troubles/affects ME, there’s a really strong chance that it will impact YOU!
So when trying to think what to write about, look deep within your own self. That’s where you’ll find the most fertile ground for what to write about. If you want to write to ignite your audience, tap into your inner spark and you will truly shine!