Tuesday, 22 March 2016

About my audience and authenticity

By Mimi Emmanuel
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A little while ago (http://australasianchristianwriters.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/about-my-audience.html)  I was musing about my audience. Or more to the point, I was pondering where my audience was and who they were, if any?

I’ve learned a few things since then.

I received great responses to my blog post ‘About my audience.’  I learned from more experienced writers, who told me, ‘I guess what comes next is finding the audience who see God through your heart, a heart that is shown through your writing.’ By Iola Goulton
Paula Vince mentioned, ‘… Remember to stay true to what I believe God would have me write.’
Narelle Atkins said, ‘Thanks for visiting ACW and sharing your journey with us.’
These responses must have played on my subconscious mind because shortly after I made extensive edits in ‘My Story of Survival.’ The main gist of the edits was that I became more authentic in ‘sharing my journey.’

Oodles of faith
In ‘My Story of Survival’ I presented my ten-ingredient-only-diet to the world. This diet which contains ten ingredients in total, kept me going for five years. I was authentic when I wrote this story and honest, as far as I was aware, with my recollections. Yet, the story felt incomplete. I had given inadequate credit where it was due.

Sure, I credited my Creator for keeping me alive. But I had not mentioned some of the miraculous events which led up to my survival. I gave credit, but I did not give praise.

What I had left out of my ten-ingredient-only-diet was the main dish; the ‘oodles of faith.’
Why did I leave this out? I did not leave this dish out deliberately.  I left most of the oodles of faith out, because I didn’t think that people would believe me and I thought that my story was unbelievable enough as it was. Living in a mainly secular environment I was convinced that I would be ridiculed if I were to add in the ‘oodles of faith which got me through.’

When I say that I didn’t leave the ‘oodles of faith’ out deliberately, I mean that it was not a conscious decision to leave these personal events out. My life had unfolded in such a way that mentioning God and His Son was met with ridicule and mocking. After a while it has become second nature to be ‘authentic’ in a secular way, instead of being authentic in a truthful manner.

More authentic
Even though I had been authentic in telling my story … I could be more authentic, in a truthful way. I had been authentic on the surface and mentioned some of the circumstances that brought me to where I was and how I got through. But in the first couple of editions of ‘My Story of Survival’ I didn’t share my heart and my faith and how God held my hand throughout.

With my last edits of ‘My Story of Survival’ I did not hold back. I shared whatever I remembered. I was aware that my story is not one likely to be accepted by traditional publishers and for this reason I enrolled in a self-publishing school to get the help I needed to get my story out there and find my audience.

‘Trust that God has our readers’
What prompted this blog post is Jo-Anne Berthelsen’s blog post, ‘Different people, different books’ of 15 January 2016. In a nutshell Jo-Anne said, ‘Write that unique story that is bubbling up within you .. we need to trust that God has our readers who will relate to how we write and enjoy our stories.’
I trusted.

The school taught me how to format my book and give it structure. The School helped with ‘how to publish on Amazon and market my book successfully.’

Unfortunate and peculiar events surrounded the launch of my book. The very moment ‘My Story of Survival’ launched on December 15, 2015 at 6pm a fatal car crash took place in my neighbourhood.  A life was lost due to a combination of drugs and speed and this crash took out power lines and a Telstra box.

My daughter and I were ready behind our computer to announce the launch of my book to the world and my potential audience, and we weren’t able to do so due to power and internet outage. The internet outage lasted for the exact duration of the free promo launch of my book. As a result I was not able to promote my book on the internet in any way myself as I had planned to.

To be honest, due to the events that took place the exact moment my book launched, I became sad, disheartened and completely lost my appetite with regards to promoting my book.

Despite this, my book quickly became an Amazon bestseller in various categories with a bestseller banner for Christian Books/Bible, Catholicism Self-Help. My book found an audience with God’s help. ‘God has our readers.’

Finding my audience
When I did a guest blog post on finding my audience on 28 July 2015,  I was looking for my audience and asked for advice from more experienced writers. I listened to their advice and acted on it. I wrote with my heart my unique story. I gave testimony, shared my experience and trusted that whatever size my audience, ‘God has our readers.’
http://australasianchristianwriters.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/about-my-audience.html

Would you write for one reader?
On January 11, 2016 Susan Barnes asked the question on Christian Writers Downunder Blogspot, ‘If God told you to write a book for one person, would you?’

That is exactly what I did. On my Amazon page it reads that, ‘If one person only will be helped from reading my story ... then it was worth writing.’

That resolve took a lot of pressure off when I was editing my book. Because when the first positive review rolled in, I had a sense of, ‘Mission accomplished.’  After that, everything else was a bonus.

Thank you
I thank my fellow writers for their wise and encouraging comments. Your kind words and reassurances helped me on my way and, I’m sure, contributed to my story to be successfully published and find an audience. Thank you. May God bless you and all your writing endeavours.
Mimi is head over heels with the Son of the Author of her Favourite Book.
Mimi’s book ‘My Story of Survival’ can be found at Amazon http://amzn.com/B018QDEKXK .
Her blog lives at https://liveforeverhowto.wordpress.com/ and her Scripture Cards can be found at www.mosaichouse.co and www.freescripturecards.com.
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3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story Mimi. We'll always be learning and growing until we see Him.

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  2. I like nothing better than sharing and Amen to that Susan.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your story Mimi - great to hear it.

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