How do you decide what to write? Are you investigating what the market needs by doing research and asking your followers, or do you write about what deeply warms your heart?
Publishing Is Commercial. What About Writing?
The publishing industry is tough. Getting a deal with one of the big publishing houses is as likely as getting a leading movie role in an upcoming Hollywood film. Writers know this; hence the boom of self-publishing.
They’re told that the market dictates the content and that you should follow this rule: work hard, and hope for the best. If fiction memoirs are unpopular, you’ll be told that it’s not up to you to change the fashion.
Yet, even though satisfying your readers is significant, you need to write what you, as a writer, find so worthy of writing.
The thought that itches and comes back to you every night, the idea that arrived as a revelation and keeps working its way for months, the inspiration that wakes you up at night and forces you to take notes, the impulse to read everything you can find about your idea, the vigor of surrendering to daydreaming and almost writing it in your head.
If the thought or idea gets this powerful, isn’t it a sign that you need to write it? Anything written passionately, from a place deep inside you, perhaps a place you didn’t even know it exists, will be compelling to read, if not to thousands, then maybe one – yourself. The others will follow eventually. Even if they don’t, you, as the writer, will be proud of your work and that is sometimes the hardest to achieve.
Remember that it didn’t use to be like this. Writers were free to write; obviously in the fashion of their time, but the choices were theirs. Some were dying for their choices. Writing is a privilege, and unless you have an order with straightforward guidelines, it’s good to treat it as such.
Staying true to yourself is important and noble, just as art is. If you write what is under your skin, breathes through your pores, occupies your mind, the writing will shine with purity and honesty.
Unless your ultimate dream is to climb the national list of best-sellers, give yourself permission to write what your heart and reason together scream for. What will happen next is always unknown. Who knows maybe you’ll be the one who will dictate the market trends one day.
Write for fifteen minutes about your recent haunting idea. Pour your words onto paper (literally or metaphorically, as you wish) and release them from the chains. Close your mind dungeon and let it breathe fresh air. Then post your practice in the comments section and don’t forget to support your fellow practitioners.