I couldn’t follow their advice.
Yet the question kept coming, “Who is the target audience for your book and for your book events and workshops?” I was told it would be primarily middle-aged women like me. Probably white like me too.
Something inside me yelled, “NO.” That narrowness of audience would perpetuate the very problem I was working so hard to address.
If story is to have the power to change the world, it needs to be shared across the lines that have divided us—gender, skin color, class, religion and age, to name a few. How else are we going to know about a diversity of experiences in the reality of our world today if we don’t share our story, and listen to others’ stories, as broadly as possible?
It might be true that women would be more comfortable reading my book or engaging in conversations about it. Rather than an intellectual and at-a-distance analysis, I dove into creativity, play, other voices and deeply personal sharing. I had no interest in throwing out intellect and logic—that is found in my work also—but I was passionate about the need for us all to use a wide variety of tools and ways of knowing. Our off-balance world was built on the foundation of white patriarchy, and it needs diversity if we are to survive, much less thrive.
My intended audience for Big Topics at Midnight is human beings on the planet today. Likewise, I want to read and listen and dance with a wide diversity of other people’s stories. We each hold a piece of the truth that is needed for the great turning.
Today I came back to what I always knew—this book was written for people. My lack of a narrow target audience may not help me to sell Big Topics at Midnight, but it is true to my heart and mind, and that is the only rulebook I want to follow.