Time for another Blog Chain. This round was started by my crit bud Michelle McLean, and the topic sorta came from a convo we had the other day. She wanted to know:
Do you write for the market or for yourself? Why? Are there times you do both? Or times when you’ve written something specifically because it was “hot” at the moment? If so, how did it turn out?
So – a little background to the question. As you guys know, I was at a SCBWI retreat last weekend. The editors at the retreat all said, don’t write to a trend. Write what you’re passionate about and we will be passionate too.
Sound advice, right.
Ironically, I participated in a workshop with a published author for YA as well. Her advice was quite different. She said, while you should write what you enjoy, you NEED to pay attention to the market. She cited several examples of writerly friends that struggled to get their well-crafted, agent-represented books published until they found their stride aligning with the market.
Interesting, isn’t it?!?
Shaun tapped into the same idea about writing with the market in mind (which he aptly indicated was different from writing to a trend).
So, here’s my answer to the dilemma. I write what I am passionate about. Everytime. That does not mean I do not consider the market. I do. I angst a lot about it, in fact.
See, A BEAUTIFUL MESS is an angel story – and man-oh-man, there are a lot of angel stories out there right now. So sure, I would be crazy not to wonder if my timing is off. But it has a unique spin, so who knows.
With my current WiP’s – one a YA Urban Fantasy, and one a YA comptemp – I struggle as to which one to work on (they are both very “present” with me). I am considering market trends and length of time to get it ready into the equation. Not sure if I should do that, but I am.
I think writing is 1 part creative endeavor and 1 part business. Therefore, I think we need to please both our hearts (our muse) and the customer (or reader/agent/publisher) we serve.
So, long story short…both. I consider both when writing! After all, neglecting either aspect of this will not, in my opinion, get the desired result – an authentic story that both comes from my heart and meets the demands of a difficult industry.
How about you? What do you do?