Blogger: Mary Keeley
Our brain sensors are always taking in information. Experts say that every brain is wired differently. Imagine that. I don’t even know how to wire an electrical outlet. How well we process the information filtering through our brains depends, in large part, on how best we learn.
There are three learning styles: visual, auditory, and tactile. EducationPlanner.org explains them and offers suggestions to enhance learning for each style. You can read about them here. I’ll focus on visual learning in relation to writers and readers today because that is the largest group by far.
According to developmental molecular biologist, John Medina, in his New York Times bestseller, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School, the majority of us learn and retain far more information through visual images than through reading text or hearing. Between 50 and 90 percent of us, depending on which expert data you read. No wonder editors look for authors who can quickly draw them into a novel’s setting and character conflict or who can make them care about the issue and promise of solution in a nonfiction book. They know those are the books readers devour and come back for more.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
Perhaps Ben was referring to visual learning.
It’s fair to assume from the data that the majority of your readers learn visually. So ask yourself: Are the setting and characters in my novel developed so vividly that readers will create visual images in their minds and become involved in the story? Will readers of my Christian living book be able to visualize the problem I address and become inspired to take action on my solution?
You might be too close to your manuscript to be objective, so ask critique partners and writer friends to respond to these same questions. Keep refining until you reach the goal. Readers love learning from the books they choose to read. When they can dive deeply into your book through visuals your words create in their minds, you will have succeeded in feeding your audience, and they’ll be hungry for more.
“He who learns but does not think is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” – Confucius
However you learn best, adopt a teachable spirit and a positive, healthy attitude toward the process of improving your craft, doing tedious research, visiting publishers’ websites and industry blogs to stay current with publishing trends—whatever it is that you enjoy least about the writing life. Give yourself little rewards along the way. Coffee, tea, chocolate, and lattes come to mind. Surround yourself with a comfortable environment when you read that book on craft or undertake yet another revision. Get enough sleep. Anything that helps you, the author, to love learning will bear fruit in what you produce for your readers.
What is your learning style? What habits or environment or disciplines help you to learn better? What will readers learn from reading your book?
Two things to help you reach your publishing goal: Adopt a teachable spirit and love learning. Click to Tweet.
Most people are visual learners. What are the implications for authors and readers? Click to Tweet.