Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why are you writing what you are writing?

I love asking this question of writers. Why? Because I get to sit there and watch them squirm. I get to observe writers justifying a story that really they had no business writing. So, do you know why you are writing your current project?

For many authors, they are writing it because it is far from the story that they should be writing. You need to write from the heart. You need to write the story that really means something to you and the passion of your own life comes across in the story. Too often though, writers choose stories for completely different reasons. I see it all of the time.

  • Because their CP said they would be good a writing that story.
  • Because it is hot right now.
  • Because some editor or agent said they were looking for it.
  • Because their entire chapter is writing in that genre (or for that publisher).
  • and so on...

Now there is potential side effect of this. The story that is your passion, the story that you may want to write may be one that will never sell. There will be no publisher or agent that will sign that book. Does that mean it is a bad book? No way! It simply means it is not something that the public would buy (in their humble opinion).

Let's extend that thought a bit. If all of your stories that you want to write are those not suitable for publishing what does that tell you? It means you should keep writing. Write from the heart and enjoy it. Publishing may simply not be in your future.



  1. Well hip hip and hooray for my co-author and me! We must be doing something right, considering we don't have more than six souls worldwide currently following us, and certainly no one pressuring or otherwise placing any expectations on us whatsoever.

    We are writing our current WIP because our plot is entertaining and our protagonist is a heck of a lot of fun. (And I am not saying this because I hear her voice all day and she haunts me in my dreams. That would be just plain creepy.)

    Sure, we are as hackneyed and naive as the next aspiring authors who has yet to have their hopes and dreams ripped away and beaten into a bloody pulp. But, of course, we will be the exception, the overnight success, the next big thing. We believe this with the same irrefutable logic a of a teenage girl having sex who will never get her pregnant, and the drunk driver who will never cause an accident.

    Let the brutality of reality begin...No! I'm lying, keep your wretched honesty to yourself!

  2. ...authors who have yet to have their dreams...

    if nothing else my typos are interesting

  3. ...and apparently there are boys out there named Sex (which actually makes a lot of sense to me). I give up, please ignore the woman behind the screen.

    *this is why a good proofreader is worth a thousand words

  4. I write what I like to read. I wouldn't know how to write anything else even if I wanted to try -- though right now I have to admit I'm struggling to figure out how to make Alien Vampire Bunnies the centerpiece of a story.

  5. I'm writing what I'm writing because Charlotte Bronte wants me to.

    I know this because I hear her voice all day long and she even haunts my dreams.