En-Gauging your audience
I was driving one of the teenagers at work to an appointment recently. We were chatting and having a good conversation. She was talking about the popularity of piercings and tattoos and while that isn’t exactly my area of expertise I thought I was doing okay.
And then she started talking about how she likes gauges. Really? I glanced at the dashboard. Speedometer, gas gauge, that thingy that tells you if the car is too hot . . . she likes gauges? Well, hey, I guess I do, too. I love how you get interesting information from all kinds of gauges. Luckily, I didn’t jump in to share my enthusiasm for the really nice, copper, gauge-style thermometer we have at the house. Because that was NOT what she meant.
Gauges are those things kids put in their ear lobes to gradually make the hole bigger and bigger until you can drive a small utility vehicle through there. My teen friend likes the smaller gauges–apparently the really big ones are a little freaky. Well, yeah.
I caught on and didn’t say anything foolish. Though I did feel a little, um, OLD. What the conversation pointed up for me was that it’s important to know to whom you’re talking. Or writing. The audience for my books isn’t teenagers, but if it were, I’d probably need to be a little more up on gauges. My audience IS women between, say 30 and 50 who are likely Christians, mothers and wives.
It can be tempting to hole up in my office and just WRITE. My young friend reminded me that it’s also important to engage with my audience. To be aware of what’s important to them and to pay attention to what’s new, what’s hot and what’s SO over (as huge gauges apparently are).
Q4U- Odds are you’re my audience. What’s important in your world right now?