Back in January I distributed a survey for my newsletter readers. Honestly, I thought I knew the answers for the direction they wanted..
I send two newsletters a month, per their 2021 input. The first newsletter is about writing. The second, sent mid-month, is more of a personal update.
I asked in the 2022 survey their thoughts on the first newsletter. Did they want to hear about the writing process? Publication? Excerpts? Recipes? Giveaways?
My assumption was readers would want to know the nuts and bolts about writing. How do we create characters? Where do our story ideas come from? What does an agent do, anyway?
I assumed wrong.
Readers were pretty emphatic they wanted to learn more about my writing. They wanted to read past and current excerpts. Behind-the-scenes information. They didn’t want to read about other authors, and that really surprised me.
Recipes and giveaways have their place, but that wasn’t the top interest. That surprised me, too.
Those results were a good lesson for me. I didn’t know my readers as well as I thought, and now I’ll do my best to create content that fits their interests.
It’s a wide swing of topics, but it also reminded me of a recent post I shared on Facebook. February 28 is Rare Disease Awareness Day. Our daughter has Albrights Hereditary Osteodystrophy. This was a late diagnosis but the symptoms were there all along, but we were also dealing when she was younger with chronic asthma, and congenital hypothyroidism.
I write about this because we came across strangers who assumed quite a bit. Based on a glance they honest to goodness would approach me and lecture me. I kid you not. Offer unsolicited advice. One lady was so bold that she was physically touching me and would not let go. I finally told her she was only looking at a piece of a giant puzzle. That we had a team of specialists working with her. Even that didn’t appease her. Exasperated, I asked her if she knew Jesus as her Savior. Before she could answer I said, “Well I do, and He takes care of her. I trust trust Him. Good day.” And I ran home and sobbed.
Like me with the survey, that woman and others like her assumed they knew a situation. I ended my Rare Disease post with a challenge to be kind when you see a circumstance you think you understand, because sometimes what we encounter in kindness is more rare than the diagnosis we’re dealing with.—Julie Arduini
The world is topsy-turvy lately. It’s easy to make assumptions. I do it. Let’s take March and surrender our assumptions. Confess we don’t know everything. Realize people need compassion and support. Then, offer it. What a way to wrap up winter and begin spring.
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