The Pope goes crowdsurfing

The Pope stands atop the papal balcony, addressing the crowd. He speaks words of comfort, of faith, of inspiration.

He pauses.

His eyes gleam, and he takes a cautious step forward. He crouches – his elderly knees clearly straining with the effort – and leaps off the balcony into the adoring crowd below.

The audience gasps and holds their breath as one.

The crowd catches the Pope in their arms and raises him up, smiling and unharmed. A raucous cheer rises up from the entire courtyard as the Pope surfs the crowd.

Not a true story, I admit, but it’s the image that came to my mind while writing this article.

Are you on the balcony or surfing the crowd?

“Your readers read your writing partly because they want to make a connection with you.”
-Sonia Simone, from the World-Changing Writing Workshop

You’ve got a message that you want to get out of your heart and into the world.

You’ve been standing on a balcony, on a soapbox, on a platform. Your audience (such as it is) is interested. They respect you. But your words don’t light them up. They’re fans, but not true fans.

It’s time for you to jump into the crowd.

Crowdsurfing on social media

Connect with your readers. Talk to them on social media. You don’t need to connect with everyone, but when you do connect with someone, treat them as a person, not as a fan, not as a potential customer.

Share stories or images from your life. You don’t need to show everything, but everything you show must be true.

Tell them why you care.

Crowdsurfing in your writing

Imagine your ideal reader. Get ridiculously specific, to the point where you have a clear image in your mind and you could write a one-page bio of your ideal reader.

Whenever you write, write as if you’re writing a love letter to that one reader instead of a press release for the crowd.

Watch your writing for these tip-offs that you’re writing a press release instead of a love letter:

  • Rephrase “we” to “you”. Example: “We tend to get on a soapbox.” → “You’ve been standing on a soapbox.”
  • Rephrase vague “they” words like “society”, “the job culture”, or “writers”. Example: “Society tells us that we can’t ask for what we need.” → “Along the way, you’ve learned that it’s not okay to ask for what you need.”
  • Rephrase academic-sounding, connection-interrupting phrases like “it’s clear that”, “obviously”, or “therefore”. Example: “Therefore, connecting with your readers is important.” → “That’s why connecting with your readers is important.”
  • Rephrase “everybody” to “you”. Example: “Everybody has a message they want to get out of their hearts and into the world.” → “You’ve got a message that you want to get out of your heart and into the world.”

Learn more about this in the World-Changing Writing Workshop!

In this year’s World-Changing Writing Workshop, Sonia Simone will teach you how to identify your ideal readers, how to find them, and how to connect with them in a way that lights them up and gets them to beg you for more.

sonia“When you’re speaking to somebody heart-to-heart, even if that person’s sort of imaginary, that lights people up because they can sense you’re not on the balcony, speaking to the crowd. They can feel you’re talking one-to-one, and that lights them up.”
-Sonia Simone, from the World-Changing Writing Workshop

Registration ends TOMORROW, so take a look now and see if the Workshop is for you!

Feel clear and confident about your direction in life!


Do you wish you could follow your heart, but it seems impossible? I can help you find the clarity and courage you need.

In other words, I can help you find your path.