Writing for the Market vs. Your Passion
Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
The other day I was talking with an author who has written more than 70 books over the span of several decades. She was telling me about another well-established writer who decided to just…write whatever he wanted. That might not sound like such a big deal until you ponder that the woman author had envy in her voice when she used the words, “whatever he wanted.”
She asked him what it felt like.
He responded, “Like magic.”
Writers are like the pendulum of a clock: They hit the perfect balance between writing what they think the market wants and writing what they want only for that millisecond when the pendulum hits the exact middle between the two extremes.
I’ve often said, when asked whether a writer should write his passion or what’s hot, that an author needs to incline one ear to the market’s needs and one ear to his own sweet spot. And I know that, long-term, I’m correct in saying that.
But today I’d like to play my own devil’s advocate and ask, Why shouldn’t a writer create whatever makes her heart sing? Isn’t that a significant part of the joy of the task?
Let’s talk about market vs. magic.
- What percentage of your writing motivation is based on what you think the market wants and what percentage on what fires your imagination?
- What part does passion play in staying the course when publishing progress is slow?
- Do you think one force–the market or the writer’s sweet spot–is more significant than the other?
- When do you feel the magic?
- Can you set the stage to make the magic happen (writing in a certain place or under certain conditions), or do you think it happens spontaneously?
- This question is for you to answer for yourself: Is your WIP magic for you? If not, do you want to change course in search of the magic?