It’s T-Minus 24-hours until God-Only-Knows-What will happen next. I couldn’t write this week’s blog without acknowledging the impending election that some feel defines our lifetime.
Election or no election, life will go on. Even if the very worst happens by whatever definition that you want to apply to “the worst”, we’ll still be writing because publishers will want to release books about the dumpster fire year of 2020 and whatever wisdom, stories and insights that we’ve scraped together over the past 3,204 days of this very long year.
But, that’s a “tomorrow” problem.
This week, we can serve our audiences well by providing necessary ballast against the overwhelming messages of negativity, fear and dread. For the next 24-72 hours or more, we’ll be glued to our televisions, social media and text threads. As people get frustrated with whatever news they’re consuming, they’ll be scrolling on social media looking for something to soothe or comfort their stress.
That’s where we come in, friends. This is where we can step up and serve our platforms well.
Here are three words/phrases for you to outright overuse this week with your audience. Plaster the following words everywhere. Unapologetically spray them in every form you can think of and tell your audience why you’re doing it: “It’s a tough week for all of us, so today, I want to share words of hope/love/connection with you because I care about you.”
Give yourself permission to get downright ridiculous with oversharing the following three words. This week, your platform, tribe or audience needs you to show up and do something for them that they may not be able to do for themselves.
Here we go with!
Hope believes that there is something beyond what we can see in our present moment. Right now, hope is hard to hold onto. Maybe if we share hope with others, it will help us hold onto hope, too.
How can you be a messenger of hope? You can share quotes and Bible verses about hope in memes, blogs, video, poetry, spoken word or your newsletter. Grab hope-filled excerpts of your fiction, poetry or non-fiction work and share it to encourage and uplift people.
Long ago, Dionne Warwick belted out the chart-topping hit, “What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love…” (My apologies if that line turns into a pesky ear worm that you keep singing the rest of the day.)
But, Dionne wasn’t wrong. Love is the only emotion strong enough to push back against antipathy and apathy.
On my author page, I host a weekly Facebook Live show. My guest this week is a best-selling author who recently wrote a book on joy. On election night, I’m interviewing her about holding onto love and joy. Is that tone deaf for what’s happening in our country? Nope. Love is and always will be a top felt-need for everyone, especially in fearful times, so let’s fill that for our audience.
3. “WE” (Connection)
In a country defined by a wide chasm with swords of angry words drawn on both sides of the “Us versus Them” dynamic, I’m going to be naïve enough to suggest that we champion a “we” mindset for our audiences.
Have you ever heard of the Christmas cease fire during WWI? One Christmas Eve, German and British troops began singing Christmas carols to each other across the battle lines. On Christmas morning, German soldiers climbed out of their trenches to walk across No Man’s Land, saying “Merry Christmas” in English. A bold move! At first, the British suspected that it was a trick until they saw that the German soldiers were unarmed.
The British soldiers climbed out of their trenches to meet the Germans in the desolate plain, with the bodies of fallen soldiers around them. On that Christmas morning, the men exchanged gifts, sang carols and no shots were fired.
On that day, those enemies connected over something greater than their conflict.
How can we create a connection in our audience that’s greater than the conflicts around us? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
While we’re just as effected as our audience by the election and the wake following the outcome, can we find ways to take the focus off ourselves and create positive pockets of hope, love and connection for our audiences? Chances are, as we share messages of love, hope and connection with them, we’ll feel the uplift ourselves, too.