This year, the year of EXPECTATION, I’m trying to be more intentional about my writing career. As part of that, I have been doing some analysis in order to become more focused. Unfortunately, (or fortunately – depending on how one looks at it), I am a bit of a chameleon when it comes to genre. Am I primarily a playwright or a novelist? What about my non-fiction? This can be somewhat of a quandary, especially when it comes to branding. However, I’ve decided not to stress over it too much.
Instead, I came up with five ways I want my writing to serve readers. (Okay, once i started I intentionally stuck to words beginning with ‘E’…)
- Entertain – My primary purpose is to entertain and provide an escape for the reader.
- Encourage – I hope to encourage them in their Christian walk.
- Enlighten – I often bring a potentially difficult or controversial topics/issues to each book such as racism and prejudice; native spirituality and cults; pornography; addictions, abuse, intelligent design, evolutionary conspiracy theory – all topics that are relevant in the church and that Christians may struggle with, but which are not necessarily being talked about openly.
- Expand the reader’s viewpoint. This is tied to number three, since my purpose is not to offer a definitive answer (other than Jesus – period.) I try to stay away from a ‘hardline’ fundamentalist or legalist viewpoint and focus instead on grace. I intentionally try to leave some loose ends and unanswered questions for the reader to ponder, hopefully coming to their own conclusions or delving further into a topic.
- Evangelism is not my primary focus since my assumption is that my target audience is already Christian. However, the gospel message is usually included, so someone could come to Christ or rededicate their life.
Do any of these resonate with you, either as a reader or a writer? I would love to hear your comments.