|Waiting for Inspiration|
But when the last thing you wrote was five months back, how on earth can you justify writing a post on Writing? And even if you did write that post, why would anyone want to read it? Maybe that is the reason why I have not been able to write - because I am trying to write for an audience which I think I know, and can't come up with something even remotely interesting.
Now that I know the problem - not knowing what the audience wants, and therefore not being able to give it - what should I do? Luckily, that problem has only two solutions, one of which is totally unacceptable to me. I could either quit and allow Hart's fantastic post to enjoy 48 hours in the spotlight, or I could wing it. Much as I would love to have Hart's post stay at the top of the blog page for a whole day more, I cannot bring myself to quit. Which means, I have to just wing it.
One of the organisations I raise funds for provides vocational training for physically challenged girls from disadvantaged (but not totally impoverished) backgrounds. The most popular vocational training course (after tailoring) is the course that trains you to be a beautician. It is popular not only because there is great demand for the services of beauticians, but also because girls from conservative families are not encouraged to work in an environment where there are men - the beauty business is one business where you are unlikely to ever encounter anyone but other women. I would have imagined that it would be easy to raise money to subsidise the training of girls as beauticians, but even after two months, I found that nobody was even remotely interested in the donation option.
Had I been able to afford it, I would have sponsored as many girls as I could. Why then was nobody else interested in doing so? There had to be a reason, and a very compelling reason too, because it had not met with limited success, it had met with zero success.
After inwardly blaming the marketing team for not pushing the donation option, I took a look at the text. Nowhere was it mentioned that the girls were physically challenged. The organisation was mentioned, but unless you are familiar with the organisation itself, why would you assume the girls had disabilities? What's worse, thought statistics were given on the size of the beauty business in the country, the fact that the beauty business was one of the few fields which girls from "good" families were allowed to enter was not mentioned at all.
|The effective approach|
There is a lesson it in for all of us who call ourselves writers. We are often guilty on two counts - we know what we intend to write but are often guilty of not expressly writing it, and we write for ourselves rather than for an audience. The first is sloppy writing and should be caught in the editing phase; the second will make the process of marketing the work impossibly difficult.
How do we avoid these traps? I wish I had enough experience to give you an answer, but the best I can manage is that we avoid these traps by being acutely aware of them. If Joanne Kathleen could abbreviate her name to her initials to appeal to what she thought would be her audience, why should lesser mortals shy away from trying to please their audience?