“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” Barbara Kingsolve
“The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.” Fabienne Frederickson
What a relief! Trying to figure our what other people want you to say takes so much time and energy! It’s so confusing! On the other hand, figuring out what you have to say, what you’re passionate about, what you’ve experienced and want to share, what you know in your heart’s core – now that’s a game worth playing. That’s writing dangerously!
It’s easy to get distracted by all the trends and fads floating around. Especially in publishing. We’re always hearing about what people want – what they’re looking for now, what they think is “hot” — and what’s not. And it’s seductive to think that this might be the way to break into a market or genre.
But let’s resist this temptation! Let’s remember that the things we’re passionate about aren’t random – they’re what excite and energize us. They are the stories we really want to tell, the ones we have to tell, the ones clamoring to be heard. Let’s not ignore them. Let’s give them life and they’ll find their way in the world.
Whenever I think of writing for the marketplace, I remember J.K. Rowling’s honest and inspiring response to the questions, Did you have someone in mind as you were writing Harry Potter? Were you thinking about the market for your book? Her answer, in a nutshell was this: No, I never thought about any of that. I just wrote the book I wanted to write. And I thought that if it was a good book, then maybe some kids would like it.
Bravo, J. K.! What better advice can there be than that? Write on!
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