July 24, 2023
Episode 30: From Intention to Impact: How to Find the Why that Fuels Your Book
Learn the three things that should be in place before starting to write a book so that you stay motivated, focused, and connected with readers on a deeper level.
Episode 30: From Intention to Impact: How to Find the Why that Fuels Your Book
In this episode of The Author Switch Podcast, I talk about the importance of having a clear intention for a book. Understanding the motivation behind writing a book helps you stay motivated, focused, and connected with readers on a deeper level. I also share tips on how to find your why behind the book, as well as the importance of understanding your target market and creating a clear message that is the bridge between your intention and your audience.
Recap & Takeaways
- 01:57 The significance of having an intention
- 05:23 How to discover your intention
- 11:00 Understanding your target audience
- 12:20 Your book’s message
The From Intention to Impact Workbook
Download the From Intention to Impact: How to Find the Why that Fuels Your Book Workbook so that you can easily identify and clarify your intention for your book as explained in this episode of The Author Switch Podcast! Simply purchase, download, and print! Then grab your favorite writing implement and answer the questions.
Transcript for Episode 30: From Intention to Impact: How to Find the Why that Fuels Your Book
Hello, and welcome to the Author Switch podcast, episode number 30. And today I’m going to be talking about From Intention to Impact: How To Find the Why That Fuels Your Book.
And before I get into the content, and I’ve got some really juicy content for you today, I’m just going to tell you a little bit about myself. I am your host, Carma Spence, and I am an award-winning and bestselling author. I’ve written five books on my own. I’ve contributed to multiple anthologies. Many of those anthologies became international bestsellers, and two of my books became bestsellers. One of them won three awards. And I’m also certified in book marketing and in the StoryWay method.
So, one of the things I’ve learned in writing all those books and helping my clients is that there are three things that need to be in place in order for a book to even hope to be successful. And those three things are your intention, your target market, and the message that bridges the two. And that’s basically what I’m going to be talking about tonight.
So, writing a book is a significant endeavor, and it’s easy to get lost in the process, which is part of the reason why I kind of chop it up into little bits, and I talk about each of these little bits during these episodes. And one thing I’ve really, really found is that if you don’t have the intention, your why down before you write the book, then you will run out of steam.
Now, where you run out of steam may be different. You may run out of steam once you have your idea. You may run out of steam after you’ve got your outline. You may run out of steam somewhere in the messy middle. Or you may actually launch the book and then go, “Huh, I don’t care about this book anymore. Next.”
And when any of those things happen, you end up feeling not so great about yourself, not so great about your book and you waste a lot of your precious time and energy. And you don’t want to do that. You’ve got better things to do.
So, this is why your why is so important. It represents a deep-rooted purpose and driving force for your book. And I am looking at notes because I want to make sure that I cover everything I had intended to cover for you today.
So, the reason why having a strong and meaningful purpose, I’ve already sort of alluded to. It gives you focus. It gives you direction. And it gives you a sense of fulfillment throughout the writing process. It enables you to connect with your readers on a deeper level and it helps you create that lasting impact that a book is intended, is meant, to do. And of course, it helps you actually get from one point of the author’s journey all the way to the end. and beyond.
So here’s an example of a book that had a clear intention and made it and is still doing quite well, and that is Susan Cain’s book Quiet! The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
When she was pulling together that book, she had an intention of challenging societal norms and assumptions in how it saw introversion and extroversion, because even though the world is filled with about, depending on what survey you’re looking at, about 50/50 introverts, extroverts. Some surveys show there are about two-thirds more extroverts. Some show that there’s a small number more introverts. It doesn’t matter. But when you look at it all, it really is about 50/50.
And yet, our culture, the world. is organized, is structured to favor the extrovert. And so she had this intention to change that, and her book has changed the way the world looks at introverts.
So this is just an example of how having a clear intention can help you create a book that really has an impact.
Again, the three things that come together, there’s a sweet spot in the middle. I like to think of them as circles. I guess you call that a Venn diagram. So you’ve got the intention of your book, you’ve got your audience for the book, and then you’ve got the message that is really bridging the two. And I’m going to go into each one a little bit more deeply now.
So first circle, discovering your intention. Now, in order to find this intention, I recommend that you spend some time in self-reflection because this is how you’re really going to tap into what that intention is, what that why is. And the reason, I mean, I’ve already gone into some of the reasons why this is important, but understanding your motivation, it helps you focus more on communicating that motivation. It helps you stay motivated to write and continue on your author’s journey. And it also acts as a guiding light. It reminds you why you’re doing it. Your why reminds you of your why. And It helps you stay tapped into the impact that you want to make and why it’s important that you make that particular impact.
So here’s an exercise that you can do to help you tap into that why to help you understand and deeply understand your intention for the book. So I recommend you get like a journal or a piece of paper or even open up a Word doc and grab your writing implement of choice. If it’s your journal, it may be a pen, maybe a pencil. If it’s a Word doc, obviously your favorite keyboard. And I want you to answer this question:
What impact do you hope your book will have on your readers?
Let me say that again:
What impact do you hope your book will have on readers?
And I want you to consider multiple aspects. of what kind of impact.
So what kind of emotional impact do you want to have? How do you want your book to make your readers feel? What emotions should they have when they’re reading your book? Do you want to inspire them? Do you want to make them think deeply? Do you want to evoke certain particular emotions like empathy, joy, and hope? What is that emotional resonance that you want to create for your reader?
Second point, what kind of transformational impact do you want to make? What positive changes or transformations do you hope your book will bring about for your reader? Is there a particular mindset or behavior or perspective you want the reader to leave your book having?
Third point: Connection. What kind of connectional impact do you want to make? How do you envision your book connecting with readers on a personal level or maybe a business level? Do you want to create a sense of shared experience? Perhaps you want to create a sense of mutual understanding or mutual empathy, or maybe you want them to understand that you, grock them, so to speak. You get the experience that they’re having and you have a solution for them.
So that’s emotional impact, transformational impact, connection impact, and there are two more. Awareness and education.
Are there specific issues, topics, or ideas that you want to raise awareness of with your book? Or do you want to educate your readers about certain topics? What is the awareness or educational impact or aspect of your book that you want to have?
And finally, empowerment. How do you want the book to empower readers? Will it provide practical advice? Will it encourage personal growth? Or will it offer just a sense of empowerment and agency?
Now a lot of this journaling I’m talking about here is really very applicable to a nonfiction book. Whether it be a how-to or a memoir, all these questions can be answered. But you can also modify these questions a little bit for fiction. They will work for fiction too. Especially the ones about emotional impact because I don’t know about you, but when I’m reading a fiction book, I emote.
You know, like, When I was reading Lord of the Rings, and I was a teenager, I looked up to Gandalf. I felt like Frodo and Merry and Samwise and Pippin were all my friends. In fact, when I got to the final end of the third book and Frodo gets into a boat and he was going off into the sea, the ocean, or whatever. I just remember I cried. I cried because I felt like you’re leaving me behind. This is the power even a fiction book can have.
So think about those intentions. What intentions do you want your book to have? What do you intend for your readers to experience in all ways, once they read your book?
So now you’ve got your intention. Now you’ve got to think about, so you’ve got this intention for your book. That should help inform who would want to read that book. Who is your target audience? And you want to understand why would your readers look for your book in the first place? Why would they want to read your book? What are they looking for that they think your book can deliver?
Perhaps they’re trying to relieve a pain, or maybe they’re seeking some form of pleasure. So, for example, Lord of the Rings again. I was seeking escape. That’s what usually friction delivers, although it can deliver other things too. Think about what is your intention for your reader and why, why would they buy into that intention? Why would they pick up your book? Why would they start reading it? Why would they continue reading it? Why would they finish reading it? And why? If you really want to do bonus points, why would they recommend it to another person, to their friends, their family, their colleagues? Why would they recommend your book once they’d finished reading it? So now we’ve got the two main things. You’ve got your intention. You’ve got your target market. Now we need to build the bridge. What is the message of your book? This is what bridges the two. And your best book is going to be that happy place in the middle of the Venn diagram.
So, you need to have a connection between the intention of your book and your book’s central message. The central message of your book. should align with the intention you had for your book. They should match. And you need to communicate that message authentically so that it represents your purpose and conveys it to your readers effectively.
Then you need to have a connection. between your audience and your intention, your message. Make sure these align.
And one way to help you find where these core themes and values that are driving your writing and connecting your audience and your intention to the content is to do some, you can, there are several techniques that you can do this. So, you want to identify your core themes and values so that you can infuse your book with your authentic message, with your authentic self, and with relevance. And you can uncover these essential elements through one of my favorite techniques, write an outline. I talked about it in the last episode, write an outline. But maybe before you get to that outline, you want to try mind mapping. And maybe once you’ve done those two things, you’ll seek feedback.
Seek feedback at the mind mapping level. Seek feedback after you’ve written your outline. Seek feedback once you’ve written your first draft. Get some beta readers. All this feedback will help you make sure that you are matching your intention to your audience and your message.
So in conclusion, You want those three things. Intention, audience, message. And you need to get clear on those three things before you start writing. You want to make sure that your intention is aligned with your audience and it’s aligned with your message. Have I said those three things enough times? Do you get it?
So I’ve given you some really good homework here that you can do to help you get that. But if you would like some more help, I invite you to come to a free, no cost, no obligation, Curious Conversation with Carma. And you can schedule yours by going to authorneering.com/schedule.
Book your Curious Conversation with Carma and let’s explore how I can help you set intention for your book, match it to your target market, and then make sure that the content of your book, your message, aligns with those two things.
This is the end of this episode of The Author Switch. Thank you for listening or watching, and I’ll see you next week.