Build a stronger bond with your readers by showing them what’s inside your head

In this post, I’ll be sharing with you a simple method I use to build a stronger bond with my readers, so that you can do it too.

I learned quite a few lessons during my stint as a television producer on Malta’s national television station.

Me (circled in red) with the crew of TVHemm, during my stint as a television producer on Maltese national television.
Me (circled in red) with the crew of TVHemm, during my stint as a television producer on Maltese national television.

Two of the really big ones are:

  • People are interested in other people
  • People love to see how things work behind the scenes, i.e. how the “magic” happens

The method I’ll be sharing with you in this post, works on both of those concepts.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that for most of my stories, I usually create a “behind the scenes” post that explains what was going on in my head while I was writing that particular story. For example, there’s my story Literary Appetite, and then there’s the post Behind the scenes of “Literary Appetite”.

Why do I do this?

For starters, it helps my readers get inside my head and get to know me better. Ever noticed how, as you get to know a person better, the dynamic of your relationship changes? You either start liking that person more, or actually decide you don’t like him/her at all.

As writers, eliciting reactions from our readers is CRUCIAL. And that doesn’t just apply to our stories. It also applies to us as human beings. Human beings build everything they do around relationships. It’s why you’ll sometimes drive an extra 15 minutes to buy from one store instead of another one that’s closer to your house. You’d rather interact with someone you like, than with someone you dislike or don’t really care about.

The second thing is that it gives my readers a glimpse into the way I work, or rather how the “magic” happens. Some of you might think that it demystifies the writing process.

That’s not the case.

It actually makes readers appreciate even more what I’ve lovingly crafted for them, by showing them how much work and dedication I’ve put into it.

So, the whole exercise helps my readers build a stronger bond with me as a writer, and with my writing.

But how do you go about writing a behind the scenes post?

It’s easy. Treat it as a journal. Jot down your thoughts as you compose your works. Don’t obsess though. Just write them down as they come to you. You can edit later.

You can make notes about how you came up with ideas, where those ideas took you, and how they changed and developed. You can share difficulties you experienced while writing that story, and the excitement you felt during breakthrough moments.

Of course, there are no hard and fast rules about what you should write. If something is too personal, just keep it out. You can even say it outright, “I won’t elaborate on this part because it’s too personal”.

The important thing is that you write with honesty. Don’t try to play up the part. Be “human”, cliche as the advice might sound. Remember, human beings are interested in human beings (although admittedly there are exceptions).

This is a great opportunity for you to build a lasting connection with your readers, and they will love you (and your writing) even more for it.