I was surprised at my reaction to the back-to-school sales. Last spring, I left teaching to write full time. I didn’t expect to have strong feelings about back-to-school supplies this summer, but I did. It was obvious that the children and parents in the store had their own range of emotions, too.
It made me think of writing to the heartfelt needs of children and teens. In the publishing industry, there is much talk about heartfelt need, that internal search for something and consequent desire to read about it.
For example, if I am attempting to prepare healthy meals for my family, reading a book or blog about whole foods would be a heartfelt need of mine.
If I am a preteen girl who is self-conscious about my appearance, I have a heartfelt need to read about how I might lose weight, fix my hair differently, or (most importantly) understand who I am in God’s eyes.
Whether you write preteen devotionals or chapter books for beginning readers, connect to the heartfelt need of your audience.
Remember that not everyone is thrilled with the roller coasters at a theme park. There are probably as many reactions as there are people on the ride.
How will understanding the heartfelt needs of your young readers impact your writing?