Monday, March 1, 2010

Taking Aim with Your Words

Taking Aim with Your Words
By Judy Vandiver
©2010 Judy Vandiver 

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: (Philippians 1:1 NIV)

Today’s blog is centered around Paul’s opening words in his letter to the Philippians. Another tip on writing can be found when we study the writing style laid out in Philippians 1:1. Notice that Paul wrote to a specific audience. His target audience was saints in the city of Philippi. While it’s true that over the last twenty centuries many people not from Philippi have been blessed by Paul’s letter, he kept his target audience in his mind as he wrote. By constantly remembering those who would be recipients of his letter, he was able to address specific needs.

It is important as writers for us to identify our target audience, then address the needs of that audience. When we write to one person or group, our writing becomes more personal. It’s a matter of addressing a specific need rather than trying to write one manuscript that is the end-all for the world’s problems. If your target audience is too wide, your words are likely to hit no one at their point of need.

By writing to a target audience and focusing on a particular need, we are able, with God’s help, to craft our words and focus our aim on one specific point of attack by Satan. This is how Paul constructed his letter to the Philippians. He addressed one area of vulnerability at a time. He didn’t try to take Satan out with a world-class explosion. He steadied himself, took aim at one demon at a time, and picked them off like a well-trained sharp-shooter.

Because the saints at Philippi were humans, we identify with their needs. So Paul’s letter continues to reach people and speak to people today. Most of the needs of our target audience are probably universal. While we may write something that appeals to a wider circle than our target audience, it is the writing to individual needs, problems, and attacks that make the writing personal to our readers.

So, choose your audience. Focus on a specific need. Take aim. By narrowing the focus, our words can knock out the enemy on one attack level at a time.

©2010 Judy Vandiver

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