Eurovision, Writing Authentically, + Finding Your Audience

So, I don’t know about you, but I watched the Eurovision Song Contest this past weekend. And it was brilliant. Serbia’s performance was AMAZING. And, personally, I think they were robbed. Robbed! You can see the whole thing for yourself here:

And after it was all said and done with, I started thinking about some of the cultural differences between Americans and Europeans. Like how Americans are great and awesome, but not always so hot at being authentic. We’re too worried we’re going to hurt someone’s feelings or divulge too much of ourselves and therefore leave ourselves open for attack. Whereas Europe is all ready for weird. All the time. For proof, check out Georgia’s (the country’s) entry for Eurovision this year. It’s like a female version of The Crow, but more stylish:

As Americans, we want everyone to like us so much that we look kind of vapid in comparison at times. No, not all the time, but a lot of the time we edit our personal details out in the name of wanting to be likable.

And that’s fine in our personal lives, but what about the lives of our businesses? There is so much noise about talking to your one customer. Therefore, I spent days mulling over this and getting frustrated, because there is no one demographic that I’m writing to. I don’t the specifics, like what they wear, because they wear whatever the eff they feel like. As instead, I’m writing to people who have the same soul as me, the ones who are realists, also but secretly kinda dreamy.

Here’s who I am writing to:

The ones who get excited about long talks til dawn with someone new. Who know sadness closely well enough to know that seeing the world as beautiful is something that we choose to do. The nerds who will always choose the right thing to do, even if that means not winning. The ones who do the right thing when no one is watching because not to do it would internally feel like a skip on a record sounds. The ones that sometimes cry because they’re so happy and present and in the moment that big fat tears of joy stream down your face. The old souls that know that craft is good for you in its way of connecting us to both past and present and nourishing in both act and product. The ones that have a special time of the day that they carve out for its exquisite soul-filling silence. Those who find the beach in winter almost more beautiful than in summer. Those who revel in the light touch of fireflies when they land on your skin. The ones that know that holding hands in silence can be either super hot or super okay and that you don’t always need words. People that laugh at kids’ jokes. And at any party with a pet present, seeks out the pet to pat before leaving. Someone who knows the value of ritual, but also that it’s okay not to have one every night. Someone who still believes in magic despite being old “enough” to know better. People who love sitting at the kid’s table.

These are my people. I am nourished by the fact that they (you!) found me and am humbled by the fact they (you!) stay. My people want more, but not more things. More a-ha moments and memories and depth. What do I hope I give to them (you!)? Newly resurrected, on this blog, heading out on my own for freelancing, I hope to give some depth to your day, not to make you ponder, but to make you feel grounded in your life, your craft, and your choices.

And I hope that I do just that. Who do you write to? One demographic? One person? Or specific types of beings? Why do they get up in the morning? What specifically makes them have a self-described “good day?” I think finding “what” drives people is more important than “who” these people are. Agree? Disagree? Agree to disagree?

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6 Responses to Eurovision, Writing Authentically, + Finding Your Audience

  1. Gina May 27, 2015 at 12:27 am #

    Me….You wrote this to me. Right? I am a newer follower but an immediate fan. I find something in every post to make me think a little deeper about my life & my business. Thank you!

    • Betsy May 27, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      Ha! Yes, Gina! I was thinking of YOU! :)

      Thanks for your kind words, it’s so nice to hear that what I write resonates!

  2. Heather May 27, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

    Well, I’m not quite as romantic as your ideal demographic, but I’m close, and the only thing I would add is that “I want to make the world a better place.”

    • Betsy June 2, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

      D’oh! You’re right, Heather! I forgot one of the most important points! :) And as for the “romance” side of things, they are just the kinds of things I like to think readers want to aim for, whether they are aware of it or not. Thinking about posts in that light gives me just enough room with which to dream.

  3. Mary June 2, 2015 at 8:02 am #

    I really appreciate this post! I’m struggling with this in an academic setting, which brings a whole new set of questions to the fore. Who is my reader, why do they get up in the morning, and do they even read academic journals? And how does one negotiate speaking to my preferred reader over the actual reader… usually another academic? Oof da! Thanks for addressing the struggle, it’s nice to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

    • Betsy June 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      Aw, thanks for the kind words, Mary! It’s so hard to pinpoint, isn’t it?! That’s why I came down where I did, because that kind of person can be 18 or 80, live anywhere in the world, and be right on point or wanting to get somewhere nearby. Good look finding who you are writing to! I think it helps to start out with someone who is curious- as that sets the stage for you to be able to hit a number of topics, instead of just one rigid track!

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