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Written in the Stars?

A lesson from the horoscopes about helping
your writing reach out to people

                This
month we are talking about reaching out to your readers and the many ways you
can do this as a writer. The first important way that you can do this is to reach
out through your actual writing. We have spoken at length about establishing a
target audience, and by truly communicating with this audience through your
writing, you are, in effect, reaching out to them.
                As
a reader, I like to see the ways in which I can relate to characters, struggles, motifs, or
bigger issues within the story I’m reading. Without the author actually being
there, it is as if they are speaking to you. This is a mark of a truly talented
writer. You only get to print the one book that has to have a widespread relatability,
and that is a challenge to say the least.
                Sometimes
I think of this as a lot like a carefully crafted horoscope. Now I
should just emphasize here that while I don’t necessarily believe in astrology
as a scientist; its efficacy or integrity is not in question in this post. I
bring up the idea of horoscopes because they are artfully crafted, and I truly
believe that when a person is choosing words or phrases for a horoscope, they
have a difficult task. Somehow the words seem to infallibly resonate with the
person of a specific birth date. Often the word choice is broad, purposely
ambiguous, and makes us recall specific things about our lives without notice
of others. While I won’t delve into the issues of expectation or recall bias
here, I will say that even when I have used isolated phrases or read a
neighbouring horoscope, a person can almost always find a way that it relates to
them.

                Whether
this is good astrology, mentalism, or just good writing we may never know, but
there is something valuable to be taken away from the way horoscopes resonate
with people. As a writer, that is a job we are entrusted with. We have one
story, and we are charged with the difficult task of having to make our unique
ideas reach out to a wide variety of people. How we do this is ultimately up to
us, but choosing broader ideas over the more specific, leaving some of the
imagination up to our readers, and using common themes all make our writing
more accessible and ultimately more relatable to our readers.

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