I read a blog article this week about how finding the common themes in your writing can be a good place to find blog topics that will resonate with your readers. Which got me looking at my writing to find common themes (I’m suggestible like that).
I write middle grade and YA. The age range makes topics aimed specifically for an age group tricky, because things appropriate for one are not for the other, and things interesting to one may not be for the other. But in looking at all my works-in-progress, I have found common themes that will relate to all my readers.
The main theme is that we all have power within us. I’m not talking magic powers (although I wish!), but we all are strong. The trick is finding our strength. In my books, all my protagonists eventually learn that they are strongest when they are true to who they really are and stop trying to be something they are not.
The older I have gotten in my life, the truer I have found this wisdom. It is a waste of time trying to “fit in” by pretending to be what I am not. It is living a lie, which makes life uncomfortable and stressful. Being who I am, while respecting other people’s right to be who they are, has made my life a lot happier. So I will be seeking stories of real-life kids who are doing good, making a difference, or just have some kind of special talent. I will also be looking at topics related to self-esteem, diversity, and bullying.
Another source of topic ideas is in the research. Most of my books have a taste of mythology or paranormal or are outright science fiction or fantasy. One has Egyptian mythology; another has Greek mythology. One has the power of physics, another the power of technology. All of these research avenues open topic possibilities as well.
I have some more thinking to do, and more topics to brainstorm. But I have been wondering what sort of things I can write about to attract my audience as well as my writing friends, so this article really gave me something to think about. Once I have this more firmly in my head, I can incorporate it into a real social media plan, and actively seek out content for my readers.
How do you decide what will appeal to your readers? Or do you not think about it at all?