Dealing With Heartbreak for Men

Dealing With Heartbreak for Men. Photo Credit – Flickr: nataliejDefining your target audience is the first and arguably most important step when beginning a new piece of writing.

Who’s interested in your topic?

Why are they interested?

How can your words capture their attention, hold their interest, and help them solve a problem?

Even self-involved and self-centered creations and works of art have an audience; it may be the creator herself, but there’s still an ideal viewer.

You need to understand that person.

The first version of my book about heartbreak felt like a good fit somewhere under the umbrella of “women readers.”

A female author writing a collection of personal essays about dealing with heartbreak would likely address the topic from a woman’s perspective and attract a female audience.

I ran with this idea for about six months, but then a number of things happened, and I found my initial manuscript trite and boring.

The over-saturated market of women writing about relationships and dating advice didn’t seem to need my input.

I looked at my project objectively and saw nothing new or different—and it wasn’t an issue additional editing or proofreading could fix.

I was purely irritated by the subject and genre, which was partially a result of what I learned about myself through writing the first draft.

“Myself” wasn’t going to be a part of the next draft.

Everyone has their stories. This book wasn’t the right outlet for mine.

The themes in each essay still interested me, though, so I took a step back, stripped the personal anecdotes, and pinpointed the subject I was really writing about: identity.

Heartbreak helps shape our identities, and I wanted to dissect the topic and create an awareness of the role this emotion plays when we make daily choices about who we are, what we tolerate, how we react, and what we strive to become.

How to Overcome Heartbreak Without Projectile Vomiting: A Guide for Cynical Hopeless Romantics isn’t about relationships, dating, or me.

One of my challenges was to not even mention heartbreak as the outcome of failed relationships or unrequited love.

My focus is on our responses to loss and change.

I was left with a philosophical topic that was not for women, men, or anyone specific.

But it’s unwise to target “everyone.”

So, who’s my audience?

Those interested in overcoming heartbreak by examining the emotion and questioning their learned behaviors and reactions, notions of right and wrong, and limited ideas of truth.

You can’t effectively treat heartbreak within the realm of “You’re better than that evil man!” or “Forget that whore!” because those sentiments resuscitate stories that have ended.

When you take offense, you magnify the offense.

You perpetuate the wrongdoing. You don’t heal it.

When you get over heartbreak, you appreciate every aspect of the past that has brought you to the present.

How to Overcome HeartbreakStefanie Flaxman is the creator of @RevisionFairy and author of a new book about heartbreak.

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