Be True to Yourself in Your Writing

I was reading an article from a writing website which was talking about the habits of successful writers. On the whole, I agreed with many of their ideas and suggestions, but one of them led me to pause, and I couldn’t quite completely agree with them. What was it? Research the market and write in the genres which sell the best.

I understand why they would say this. In order to maximize a writer’s exposure, your book needs to sell, so the logic is, fit your writing into the genres that sell. Easy, right?

Not for me. I’m not writing to sell books. I want to sell books, but I don’t write to sell books. I write to tell stories – the absolute best stories that I can tell – the creative stories that pop into my brain and take me on a joy-ride of discovery. And I will not (I’m stubborn) bend my writing to the whims of what people like to read. The reason for this is simple: I believe readers will enjoy and appreciate a well-written story no matter what genre it is in.

I’ve seen this many times over with my own books. I’ve had many people who have said things like ‘This wasn’t really my kind of book, but I started reading and got hooked.’ (sorry for the rhyme)

I won’t write erotica. I won’t write sci-fi or dystopian. I won’t write about vampires. Even if I could be a best seller in those categories, they don’t interest me.

To me, writing is, in its purest sense, a way to display the real me. (Just don’t confuse me with my characters – but that’s another post.)

I love writing, but I would hate to make writing a chore just to fit into the marketplace.

So thanks for the advice, but I think I’ll pass.

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