Change Your Motive, Change the World …and the industry

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by J.A. Marx

If you’ve been around ACFW for any length of time, you’ve heard the one question every agent and editor asks: “Who’s your audience?” The tighter we narrow down the audience for our story, the happier we make the marketing department. But at what point in writing a new book do we start thinking about our readers?

God is always challenging us to keep the kingdoms in order, Heaven over earth. When we maintain a right order, our earthly assignments to distribute a message from God’s heart carries with it a measure of Heaven.

“I may be able to (write) the (books) of men and even of angels, but if I do not have love, it will (read) like noisy brass” 1 Corinthians 13:1 NLV parentheses mine. Heaven’s highest order is love.

If a novel is not written out of a sincere love for the reader, does it come across like noisy brass? God’s main concern is people, right? He gave His all to save all humanity. We need this “mind of Christ” as we think about our audience, the people He’s trusting us to minister to through story. Ask yourself this one world-changing question before you write another word. #ACFWBlog #amwriting @JA_Marx Click To Tweet

So, pause for a second and think about who is going to read your book. Can you picture her or him? Have you seen them in town? In your neighborhood? Do your readers have names, families, and everyday problems? Or do you know them merely as an age range and gender, aka working-women-age-20-35? It’s hard to love a slice of data.

Personalizing the Father’s life-changing love is your supernatural advantage over non-believing authors. A mind transformed by the Spirit is an open door for divine wisdom. Go for God’s higher ways and thoughts in every aspect of this business.

Practical steps to loving your audience:

  • Through prayer, identify your readership. And the message, i.e. “Forgiveness” (Or a different expression of love).
  • Envision a reader you might meet over a cup of coffee and share this particular story of God’s forgiveness. (Find a photo to tape up as a visual of someone who represents your audience.)
  • Petition the Lord to give you His compassion for your future readership.
  • Until you’ve established the above, put down your pen and spend more time in the Secret Place (Psalm 91) to examine your real motive.
  • Continue studying the craft. Learn it to the point of expertise, and give the Holy Spirit a refined tool to work with as you partner in this assignment. “For the joy (reader) set before me, I persevere” Hebrews 12:2.
  • Pray, and fast, for God to impart a revelation of His forgiveness to the person you’re envisioning as you write. (He personally knows the number of hairs on each reader’s head.)
  • The kingdoms are now in proper order. You’re righteously motivated to write “not by might, not by power, but by (God’s) Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6).

A person’s gift opens doors (makes room) for him, bringing him access to important people” Proverbs 18:16 ISV.

What might happen at conference if you pitched a “gift” born out of God’s compassion for your intended audience? Would your assignment, that’s now aligned with God’s heart, supernaturally open new doors? (Note: do not insert this in your pitch or proposal; just keep it prayerfully in heart as you explain your audience.)

The challenge:

Before you write another word, ask God to give you His heart for your future readers—a motive that could change the world, and potentially, revolutionize the industry.

Multi-published author J.A. Marx writes psychological suspense. She loves working with authors as president of her local ACFW chapter. When not writing, J.A. spends time with her children and grandchildren, volunteering at church, and painting.
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