One of the most important core values in my writing is to CONNECT. I feel that writing in a way that connects with readers is what will keep them interested in reading each and every future column.
I try to think about how my topic might relate to my readers; whether theyâ€™re fascinated by ranch and rural life, want to learn more, or are ranchers or ranch wives.
Take processed American cheese slices for example. My husband and son always eat a slab of American cheese slices as a â€œsnack.â€ Whatâ€™s up with that? Is it just my guys that do this or is it just all males?
I oftentimes note things that happen in our household that are repeated in other places with other people. While at my brotherâ€™s house helping my sister-in-law prepare supper one time, I noticed my brother peel off a slice of cheese and eat it while waiting for supper. Another time, a friend of mine said her husband does the same thing. If I notice something like this more than once I will watch for it to occur in other places. I might bring the topic up with my girlfriends to see if other boys or husbands do the same at other households. Â
Next, I will think about my reaction to this; what was other wivesâ€™ reactions to this when I brought it up, what stories they had about processed American cheese slices, and what they said about their husbands and/or sons eating American cheese slices? I may even ask my guys questions about their interest in sliced cheese and why they prefer it over other cheese or other snacks.
All of this information gets put into memory and my notebook. It may simmer for a while (as it is currently) if I need more information before drafting a column about it but I look for tidbits to make a connection with readers. When I do sit down to write about it, I think about my readers. What will they be able to relate to regarding processed American cheese slices from the â€œresearchâ€ I gathered?
I always try to include examples when possible that make my readers feel like they know exactly what Iâ€™m talking about. My favorite part of making a connection with readers is to elaborate with personal experiences and show them my down-to-earth side. More than anything, I search for whatâ€™s obvious but is oftentimes overlooked, and put it in the spotlight. I add my own slant to the topic and try to show them whatâ€™s funny about the obvious. I like making a connection with my readers.
The next core value I will talk about is â€œInform.â€