Monday, December 18, 2017

The Real Reason We Read ... and Write

By Andrea Merrell

If each of you were asked the question, “Why do you read?” what would you say? Maybe your goal is to learn as much as you can by digging into how-to books. Perhaps you read for pure entertainment, to get lost in a dynamic plot, or to travel to exotic places.

Some of you may read simply because you have a number of favorite authors, and your goal is to devour every word from them that comes out in print. We follow these authors on Facebook, like their posts, retweet their tweets, and interact with them at conferences. So why are we so passionate about this?

I love what author and social media guru Edie Melson says:

I follow other authors because I want to know them. I love to get to know the person behind the book.

Let’s look at another question: “Why do you write?” Whether you’re creating blog posts, articles, memoirs, or novels, what is your motivation? Is it to be famous, sell books, make money, increase your subscriber list, or build a huge platform? Or is it to get to know your readers, build relationships, and share God’s love and truth with the world.

Here’s what author and speaker LoriRoeleveld says:
I now understand that part of my mission as a Christian writer is to locate the people God wants to receive the message I’m called to write. And not just to locate them, but to pray for, listen to, develop God’s heart for, and serve them with humility and zeal. It’s in marketing research that I’ve come to know and love my readers. God has used the cries of their hearts to spur me on to become a better writer, a better reacher, a better follow of Jesus. Not so I can sell more books, or enlist more subscribers, or increase my platform (although, that’s a by-product of this process), but so that I can be with them in this Jesus adventure.

This “Jesus adventure.” I love the way Lori defines our writing career. God gives us the gift of words so we can connect with others who need to hear what we have to say. Writing for the Lord is not a business, it’s a ministry ... and one that’s very fulfilling.

It’s not about numbers or dollars, it’s about relationships. Over the years, God has brought so many wonderful people across my path—both writers and readers.  I’ve gotten to know the person behind the book, and I’ve had the privilege of interacting with—and praying for—many of my readers.

If you’re a writer, remember that readers are more than just numbers. As Lori Roeleveld says, “Behind every number in the platform section of my book proposals is a name, a face, a heart, a soul—someone seeking courage to endure, someone waiting to be challenged to deeper faith, someone wanting confidence to speak up for Christ. God wants to reach them in many ways, but one way is through what I write. Part of my job as a writer is to locate and love them in Jesus’ name.

What about you. How do you connect with your readers?

(Photos courtesy of



  1. at the nudge of Holy Spirit ('cause i didn't have a clue!!) i started by following and sharing others' FB and blog posts. as my network has grown, so, too, have my followers and readers!!

    1. That's great, Robin. Thanks for sharing with us. :)


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