Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Write What You Read

"The most important thing is you can't write what you wouldn't read for pleasure. It's a mistake to analyze the market thinking you can write whatever is hot. You can't say you're going to write romance when you don't even like it. You need to write what you would read if you expect anybody else to read it." ~ Nora Roberts

The above quote comes from the Writer's Digest Facebook page. If you haven't LIKED the page, you may want to do so. Tons of useful information.

And, as normal, an established writer says it like it is!! Woo-hoo!

It's a mistake to analyze the market thinking you can write whatever is hot.

Amen, Sistah!!

As an aspiring writer, I found the best joy and freedom with writing, when writing what I want to write . . . not what I think is the current trend to write. It is the moments when I quit thinking about trends and audience (yes, audience) that I feel I do my best writing . . . because I'm writing solely for me.

Yes, at some point, I have to consider a broader audience. Every writer must do that at some point.

The fact is, trendy today is not trendy tomorrow and, to the best of my knowledge . . . writing a fabulous novel, query, synopsis, agent research, finding an agent, editor, publisher, revisions out the ying-yang just doesn't happen in a day.

So, even if I write the best been-there-done-that-vampire-novel-EV-UH . . . by the time I go through all the stages of the writing process . . . vampires have been eradicated from the literary world, only to be replaced by a kid who loves pickles. Yeah, go figure.

You need to write what you would read if you expect anybody else to read it.

Amen, sistah!

I don't read the current trend of vampire books. Okay, I read Anne Rice back in the day. I loved the first few books in the Lestat series. I also loved the one and only book in her mummy series. Please, Anne, write another one! Please???

The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned is an excellent book, btw! Loved, loved, loved the book! I always hoped she would write another book. She never did. Perhaps now that she's come out of her religious phase, she'll get back to writing another book about Ramses the Damned!

But, I digress . . . hey, it happens.

I write what I want to read, and, in some part, what I've been reading. I also write, to a greater extent, about what I know.

In the end, every writer will write what they write. Every writer must - should - follow their heart and instinct with their writing.

Best of luck to all . . .



Robyn Campbell said...

Excellent post my friend.I'm following my heart writing adventure. And you know what? It's THE NEXT BIG THANG!:)

Really though, they tell me I have written my book at just the right time. Hmmm, first time I've ever done anything at the right time. What's goin' on here?

Oh, and did you put a curse on MY DOLPHINS? I'Z GONNA GET YOU FOR THAT.

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Amen brother! Writing for the market takes the heart out of a book. At least, it feels that way when I tried to do it. :)

Tess said...

Every time I give into market conceptions or pressure, I regret it. If it is in writing, in fashion, in books I choose to read.... all of it.

Janey B said...

You are SO right. All art ultimately must come from the heart and mind of the artist, not the market. Like you say, you can imitate your brains out and still miss the train. The only POINT of writing is to write from the heart, I think anyway.

VR Barkowski said...

Write for the market? Not a chance. Sometimes I can't even write for me: I want the story to go one way, the story wants to go another. But all in all, I write what I read.

That said, I do believe we need to be aware of the market and have realistic expectations. If you read romantic suspense, write romantic suspense, and romantic suspense isn't selling, you're going to have a more difficult time finding an agent and/or an editor. That's the way of the world.

Scott said...

Robyn – thanks. I think we all know not to follow the trends, but it’s hard not to want to follow the trends. Ha!

Amy – I agree totally. As I’ve said before, the best writing I’ve ever done, am currently doing, is when I write for me, following my heart, and writing what’s important to me.

Tess – same here. I’ve thrown a vampire or three into a story. Never works for me. Onwards and forwards . . .

Janey B – I agree with you completely. We have to follow our hearts.

VR – I’m with you on the “sometimes I can’t even write for me”. As for the story going one way, when I want it to go another . . . well, I’ve learned to let the story go where it wants to go. More often or not, it’s my inner voice pointing me in the right direction. And, knowing the market is important, but not so important as to diminish who we are as writers by writing something just for the sake of publishing. I think when we do that, we sell off a bit of our soul. In the end, I’d rather write something I’m in love with, nurture it, and hope for the best with the ever-changing markets. Maybe the market for that great novel I wrote a few years ago, ready to query and all that jazz, isn’t here/now/today. That doesn’t mean that next week, next month, next year the market will turn and be ready for that great novel.