(Transcript) How To Make Your Writing Irresistible To Your Reader


Morgan MacDonald : [music in background] Hey guys. Welcome to the replay. Can y’all hear this? [music]


Kenna (https://twitter.com/iKennaMarie ) : I am a fellow writer!!


Morgan MacDonald : …Hey Kenna Marie. Glad to meet a fellow writer…


Darnell Cureton (https://twitter.com/skim_media ) : Hello.


Morgan MacDonald : … Hey Darnell. Welcome, welcome… Can y’all hear the Train in the background? Train being the group. [music].  [Let me] turn it down.


Kenna (https://twitter.com/iKennaMarie ) : Yes. I post on a blog sometimes. What about you?


Morgan MacDonald : … He posts on a blog sometimes… I do too. I post on a blog every week. I’m Morgan Gist Macdonald. I’m a writing coach, editor, and author. And for those of you who have been following me, I have a very exciting announcement to make. I am moving web domains. So you’ll know that I HAVE been Paper Raven Editing ( http://www.paperravenediting.com ). I am now Paper Raven Books ( http://www.paperravenbooks.com ) Is this going to be a mirror image? It is.  Hold on. Let me flip you around so you can see better.


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Paper Raven Books. We’re doing a little bit of re-branding, a bit of re-shifting, focusing in on our niche. And all of the notes today are going to be at http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope . I’m going to get a prettier sign one day. I really am. My printer is not communicating with me, so I’m writing everything by hand – very old school.


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So yes. I blog about writing. I talk about writing. I coach about writing. I coach authors through their BOOKS. That’s part of the rebrand [and] refocus. I HAVE been a general editor, [but] now I am pulling together a team, and we are going to be focusing on helping YOU write YOUR book, from start – the very first idea – through your first draft, through your finished manuscript, get it all polished and published and ready to submit for publication, or just publish it yourself on Amazon. So that’s what we do. We help YOU write your book.  It’s awesome.

Okay. So if you joined yesterday we were talking about…   Oh, by the way, in the little comments [section] down there let me know your name, where you’re coming in from, do you write blog [or] books, [or] something in between. And if you haven’t followed me already, hit the little “Peri Buddy” down there, [and] click “follow”. We Scope about writing.



Kenna (https://twitter.com/iKennaMarie ) : Is age a factor?


Morgan MacDonald : …Kenna Marie, Is age a factor? Is age a factor for what? For WRITING? Let me know what you mean… Hit the little “Peri Buddy” down there. As we’re talking, if you like what we’re talking about, hit “hearts”, and that lets me know that you’re engaged, liking this, [and] helps me craft my content around you. Because ultimately I do this for you.


Kenna (https://twitter.com/iKennaMarie ) : You helping me.


Morgan MacDonald : … You helping me… No, not at all. I’ll help ANY age. I have worked with high school students – [laughter] although I don’t know if it’s worth hiring a writing coach for a high school paper. But some of my clients are [also] in their 60s and 70s, and they are finally fulfilling their life’s dream of publishing a book. That is amazing to me. It’s so inspiring to work with my older clients.


LoveCreatWonderBlog (https://twitter.com/LoveCreateWanderBlog ) : I’m Heather, a women’s travel blogger. Hi!


Morgan MacDonald : … You’re Heather, a women’s travel blogger. Hello and welcome. Thanks for joining… So yes, yesterday we talked about the five common writing mistakes that your readers will hate. So if you want to catch THAT hop on over to http://www.paperravenbooks.com . The Scope Notes are up, [and] the replay should be up really soon. I’m also on Katch (http://katch.me/morgangmac ), if you guys are on Katch [and] know what that is. http://www.katch.me is where you can get people’s replays.


Ayesha (https://twitter.com/LeAyeshah ) : Just got home in time.


Morgan MacDonald : … Just got home in time. Hey Ayesha! Thanks for joining. Always glad to see you… Okay. So today we’re talking about how to make your writing irresistible to your reader. So yesterday was a little bit more on the NEGATIVE side – what readers HATE – and now we’re focusing on the POSITIVE, what readers love. So I want to let you guys in on a little marketing trick.


Kathy (https://twitter.com/AndersonBizSupp ) :  Just saying hi!


Morgan MacDonald : … Hey Kathy. Good to see you again… Thanks for the hearts guys. I really appreciate it…  Okay. So this is actually a little bit of a marketing trick that I’ve twisted around to use in long form writing, and it works beautifully.

So let me tell you the trick. It is [to] create an ideal reader profile. So there’s, kind of, some specifics that go along with this. The point is that we want you to reach the stage where you’re writing to ONE person. There is intense POWER behind writing to one person. So let me contrast this a little bit actually. What we tend to do is … Oh, thanks for inviting followers, Kathy. [I] really appreciate it… imagine that we’re writing to a room of people, right? Actually, we usually write towards like a judgemental panel of readers that are critiquing our every word, right?… Thanks everyone as you’re joining in. Welcome, welcome. Say hi, let me know your name, and where you’re from… I’m Morgan Gist Macdonald, writing coach, editor, and author. So we’re talking about how to write in a way that your readers will love.

So usually we write in a way that is like in our minds we visualize, imagine, and create these images of writing to a panel…


Camille Montes (https://twitter.com/CamTam2908 ) : Hi. Camille. Montreal. Canada.


Morgan MacDonald : … Hey Camille from Montreal. Nice to have you. Thanks for joining… And that is such a scary experience. It’s really intimidating, because you imagine that usually they’re hostile to every word you’re saying, and that you have to defend your arguments, and prove that what you’re saying is worthwhile.

So I actually want you to FLIP that around.  Any time you’re feeling that intense pressure of needing to prove, or validate, what you’re saying, you’re in the wrong mindset.  You’re not connecting with your reader. So flip that. Write to ONE person.

The way we do this when we’re marketing is we create a profile of truly, truly one person that we write to. So I would actually…


William Tillotson ( https://twitter.com/TillotsonArt ) : Love that.


Morgan MacDonald :  Thank you. Thanks… spend a free writing session. So if you haven’t followed me, and aren’t sure what free writing is, I’ll do a quick recap of what free writing is. It’s a STYLE of writing [where] you use a timer. So it can be a timer on your iPhone, or whatever. Set it for 15 or 20 minutes – something very doable. Turn off all distractions, and you’re going to write or type as fast as you physically can. You are not re-reading, not hitting the backspace, [or] not correcting spelling – nothing like that. You’re trying to write or type SO FAST that the thoughts that are occurring in your brain are getting out onto paper BEFORE you have time to judge them. Does that, kind of, make sense?


Sophia Darnell (https://twitter.com/SophiaDG ) : Wow.


Morgan MacDonald : Yeah.  It’s, kind of, an intense process [which is] why I really only recommend that you do it for like 15 or 20 minutes at a time. If you’re nervous about it, do it for five minutes. Let’s set the bar low here.  But you’re really and truly trying to get the words out faster than your brain is really thinking them…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : I use the 5k words per hour app.


Morgan MacDonald : … 5k words per hour app, Ron. Ooh, I’m going to have to check that out. Let me write that down. So that would help with the free writing process? I’ll look at that, thank you… Okay. So I would recommend that you do this free writing exercise…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : He has a book too.


Morgan MacDonald : …Oh, he has a book too.  Cool. Thank you… where you’re really trying to flesh out who your ideal reader is. I want you to consider questions like : Is your reader young? Mid 20s? Middle aged? Or older?…


William Tillotson ( https://twitter.com/TillotsonArt ) : Can it be tense emotion?


Morgan MacDonald :  …It can be a tense emotion, for sure… Is your ideal reader highly educated, or NOT highly educated? What kind of LANGUAGE does your ideal reader use? Casual and direct? Or more, sort of, flowing and beautiful? And why is your ideal reader interested in this particular topic that you’re writing on?

So flesh all [of] that out. Some people give their ideal reader a name, an occupation, hobbies – all of this [stuff which] you,  sort of,  want to create someone who feels very true and authentic, and someone that you have a connection with, [and] that you want to write to.

Most importantly is also to consider how you hope that your ideal reader’s perspective, or life, will be changed by your writing. We,  sort of, talked about this a bit yesterday in the Q & A portion, but the most powerful part of writing to ONE person is that you can begin to explore the ways in which your writing might change someone’s life, right? Because when you’re writing to a PANEL of people it’s really hard to even THINK that their lives might be changed by anything that you say.

But when you write to ONE person you can immediately imagine how you might change his, or her, life with your writing. That is where POWER comes in in writing. And when your reader feels that you CARE about her, [and] that you want something better for her, she WILL connect with you. And I use “she” because MY ideal reader is a she. That’s just what has come about through my own free writing, but it could be “he”, [or] a child, [or] older person. But it’s essential that you try to make that emotional connection on YOUR end FIRST.

[The cool thing is that I really] believe that your ideal reader EXISTS. The reason I believe this is because I have begun to experience it over and over and over again. So when I first started blogging… Thanks for the hearts guys. I’m glad this is resonating for some of you…

When I first started blogging I was writing to this panel of people – like the NEBULOUS internet, right? [But] it wasn’t CATCHING with anyone. Then, when I was going through some marketing training, I started doing this, and I started using it for my writing. I wrote out…


William Tillotson ( https://twitter.com/TillotsonArt ) : Love you already. Great encouragement.


Morgan MacDonald : … Thank you. I appreciate it. This is what I do. I LOVE to encourage you guys. [This] is really, truly why I do this. It’s why I love Periscope too… But I wrote out this whole ideal writer thing. At the time I was working really closely with academics, and [so] I wrote out her struggles, and fears, and hopes, and the type of stuff that she likes to do. And then – I’m not even kidding – a month later the person called me out of the blue. She found me on a Google search. She’d never even HEARD of me before. She’d never tried to contact an editor before. I was the very first person she ever talked to…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Follow her! Need more scoping writers.


Morgan MacDonald : …Oh, thank you Ron. I appreciate it…


LoveCreatWonderBlog (https://twitter.com/LoveCreateWanderBlog ) : Same thing happened for me! Now I changed my mindset on who I’m writing to.


Morgan MacDonald : … Same thing happened for you? And now you’ve changed your mindset on who you’re writing to. Who are you writing to now. Let me know. You [have] a travel blog, right? Sorry, I get a little bit confused… But yeah, so she called me up out of the blue, and I was like, “What the heck?!” [laughter] It just like LANDED in my lap.

As you write more and more you fine tune and redirect and change. And every time that I’ve written a new ideal reader profile, and gotten really deep with the profile, the person just pops into my life. It’s incredible. And the same thing happened [when] I wrote my book. I started writing it [in] February of this last year. First it took me a few days of, kind of, stumbling around and not really [being] sure of what I was writing about. And I stopped, and was like, “Okay. I need to follow my OWN ADVICE here.” [laughter] So I wrote the ideal reader profile, and I was so invested in helping this person to write this book. That’s what MY book was about, was helping you to write your book from first draft to finished manuscript. It’s called “Start Writing Your Book Today”, and it’s available at Amazon.com ( http://www.startwritingyourbooktoday.com ).

But once I wrote that profile out I felt so connected with this person who I had never met yet, but who I wanted to meet, and the book just started flowing. It was incredible.


William Tillotson ( https://twitter.com/TillotsonArt ) : Writing can be fearful when others see your inner being. With me anyway.


Morgan MacDonald : … Writing can be fearful when other see your inner being. .. Yes. You’re so right. And that IS why we don’t want to write so deeply, because we’re showing our vulnerable side, right? We’re showing something that we care very deeply about. And if someone knocks it, and says , “Ugh! You’re a crappy writer.”, you want to crawl back in the hole you just came from. I’ve talked about this with a lot of authors, especially as we’re finishing up a project…


William Tillotson ( https://twitter.com/TillotsonArt ) : Opening up.


Morgan MacDonald : … Opening up. Yup, exactly… When they’re about ready to launch [the project], and they either send it to a publisher, or they put it online, or however they get it out into the world, that first few days after you put it out is a very surreal experience. It’s like,  “I can’t believe I just put those words out into the world.” [laughter] You almost want to take them back and hold them, but you CAN’T, because they’re already out. But then if you wait long enough, [like] a week or two, you start to get the responses. You get these incredible comments, or emails, or phone calls, or whatever. And the people who you were trying to reach are somehow magically reached. It’s amazing.

So there’s, kind of, an irresistible pull that happens when you go through this exercise, especially at the beginning. Or if you feel like you’re not gaining traction on a writing project, stop what you’re doing and create this ideal reader profile..


Ayesha (https://twitter.com/LeAyeshah ) : I think it’s possible to do that for viva examiners too.


Morgan MacDonald : … I think it’s possible to do that for viva examiners too… Yes. You’re exactly right. And honestly, academics often use it as a bit of a political power move, when you know who’s going to be reading your stuff, they’re like, “Oh, well write for that reader. Make sure you reference who they would want you to reference, and make sure to use the type of jargon that they would want you to use.” But underneath that is a true and authentic way to connect with the reader. It’s NOT just politics.  It really is the best way to create meaning and purpose in your writing – to know that there IS someone out there whose life you’re trying to change.

So that’s my advice for you guys. Create that ideal reader profile. I’m going to post some notes over there at :


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http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope .


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I’ll have notes over there for you to help you do this exercise. But you want to get as specific as possible : age, occupation, hobbies, why they’re interested, what your ideal reader is seeking in this type of writing, what transformation you hope your ideal reader goes through. And once you really flesh out that profile you’ll like that person so much that you’ll WANT to write for them. It’s a really cool process.


William Tillotson ( https://twitter.com/TillotsonArt ) : You’re awesome. Thank you.


Morgan MacDonald : …Awe, thank you. I appreciate that… So I’m really glad you guys got some inspiration. I do this every day. [It’s a] lunchtime writing Scope. So I give about 15 minutes of inspiration, and then you go use the rest of your lunchtime to do a little bit of writing.  Twenty minutes of writing everyday can help you make significant progress on your writing project.

So if you guys want to connect with me, you can hit that “follow buddy” down there. I’m @morgangmac  ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac ) , and you can hit me up on Twitter later too. I’ll be around answering questions. I’ve got Tae Kwon Do later today. But when I get back I will answer your questions on Twitter. And tomorrow we’re Scoping about “the one thing that you could do to make progress in your writing today”. So we’re going to be talking about some SERIOUS productivity tomorrow.

All right guys. Have a good day, get to writing, and I will see you guys later. Bye. Thank you.

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