Four Keys To Help You Connect With Your Reader’s Heart

At COMPEL, we know you’re here because of your desire to write words that move people. It sounds so simple, but sometimes we need just as much encouragement and support ourselves as our readers do. We’re here for you, friends! We love to equip our writing community. If you're struggling in this area, read on to find out the four keys to help you connect with your reader's heart today!

In the COMPEL community, we share a common dream: to write words that move people. Specifically, we want to lead our readers to a deeper connection with the Lord. 

I’ve discovered crafting life-changing messages doesn’t always come naturally. Mastering the art of moving our readers happens as we learn to connect to their hearts. 

Maybe you long to make a difference with your writing but aren’t sure how to reach your readers. These four keys will open their hearts to you and your message:

  • Write From Your Heart. When I first started writing, I thought offering information would convince my readers to make lifestyle changes. But I’ve since learned true change grows from deep convictions of the heart. If we want our readers to open their hearts to us, we must be vulnerable with them. This means writing from our hearts, not our heads. 


Invite your reader into your heart by sharing personal stories. Aim for transparency as you write your message. What faulty thoughts or erratic emotions did you experience? Whom did you hurt? What hard lessons did you learn? How did you find strength in the Lord? 

  • Paint a Picture. A picture is worth a thousand words. This familiar saying reminds us some ideas are more effectively expressed through images. How does that apply to writers? If we want to engage our reader’s heart, we need her to experience our lesson as fully as possible. We do this by painting a picture with our words.

As you write, intentionally choose words that will lead your reader to see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt. The more she interacts with your story and message, the more she will be impacted by it.

  • Offer Inspiration. Making lifestyle changes can be challenging. To encourage our reader to make the effort, we need to inspire her with the truths in God’s Word. The Scriptures reveal His holy standards and equip us perfectly. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) 

As you use Scripture to lead your reader to change, continue to share from your own heart. How did these verses play out in your life? What challenges did you face? What rewards did you reap?

  • Instill Hope. God’s standards are perfect, but people are not. To effectively move the heart of our reader, we don’t need to be perfect, but we do need to show her the progress we’ve made.

As you share your message, let your reader know you once stood in her place. Give her a vision of what progress looks like. Consider what she needs to move forward, and offer her some action steps. 

As writers, we long to know our words make a difference. When we connect with our reader’s heart and lead her to positive change, she deepens her relationship with the Lord. We become authors who write words that move people.


Shirley Desmond Jackson

Which of these four keys will help you connect to your reader’s heart? Let us know in the comments so we can cheer you on.


Prompted by gratitude, Shirley Desmond Jackson loves to teach others the truths found in God’s Word. Her driving passion is to help women connect with an extraordinary God who meets us in the midst of our ordinary lives. Shirley has written many Bible studies and devotions and will soon release her first book. In addition, she serves on the COMPEL Executive Volunteer Leader Team as a Critique Group Leader. After serving on the foreign mission field in Paris, France, she married her best friend, Mark. Together they raised three children and now serve as shepherds in the Married Ministry of their church. Shirley loves perfecting her French-language skills, cooking with her husband, and spending time with her family — especially her first-ever granddaughter. You can connect with her on her website at, as well as on Facebook or Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Shirley Jackson, thank you for that great advice. I’m an emotional writer anyway, so to be vulnerable is going to be a big step.
    I’m ready to take that step! 🫣😊

  2. Be vulnerable . . .yes! Good advice, Shirley. Easier said than done, but well worth doing. I found the first few times were the scariest. It gets easier with practice.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson: May 4, 2023 at 4:52 pm

      You are so right, Shirlee. It is scary to be vulnerable ~ yet so valuable. And it does get easier with practice. Thank you for sharing!