Writing To Write? Or Writing To Sell?

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Lately I’ve been in a quandry. As you all know, I’m working on a witches story. Well, of course, the paranormal market is saturated, totally filled up, so I get to thinking: Will my book sell? Then I start second guessing my talent, is my writing good enough to make this book good enough to sell? Or should I write something else? Should I just focus on my contemporaries, finish the category books I’ve started, rather than keeping on with the witches even though I’ve now got the storyline nailed in my head?

All these “should I’s” and “what if’s” are ruining my writing mojo. Seriously. I’m losing perspective of WHY I’m writing. Hell yes, I want to sell a book so it gets published, but more than anything I want to tell my stories and share them with the world and hopefully they will enjoy them as much as I do. I want to tell them in my way. I want to tell my stories, the ones that are screaming in my head right now rather than the ones that would end up coming out mediocre because I wrote what I thought would sell.

Sigh. It’s so hard being a writer sometimes, knowing which path to take, which story to tell first when you’ve got ump-teen in your head just waiting to be told by you. This is where self-confidence and self-esteem come in… believe in your ability to tell a story that others will want to read, a story that editors know others want to read and will want to buy.

When self doubt comes creeping in, it’s never pretty and certainly never fun, and that’s where I found myself yesterday. Full of doubt in my abilities to tell my witches story well enough that the editors out there are going to like it despite the fact that the paranormal market is hard to break into. So I talked to my sister, Kate, and felt a little better. Then I chatted on Yahoo with gal pal and fellow Bradford Buncher Lauren Dane who had me talking it all out and explaining the why’s and how’s of it all, a conversation which I walked away from feeling much, much better about myself, my writing, and my ability to tell a story.

So today, after I finish working the day job, I’ll be getting back to my witches story as I’ve now regained the confidence to do so, the confidence that unwillingly seeped away for a brief period of time and will undoubtedly do so again in the future.

But you know what? I’m a writer. I love it, and I’m going to tell you a story, one that I hope the editors will like enough so that I can share it with you, and one that I hope you’ll enjoy.

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3 Responses to “Writing To Write? Or Writing To Sell?”

  1. moonrat Says:

    writing to write and writing to publish are two different beasts. the authors i like working with best are the ones who can realistically manage both. for some people, that means they successfully align them; for others, it means they just have two different kinds of writing.

  2. Lori Says:

    Your writing is awesome. Write what you want to write, in your way; not how anyone else thinks you should write it, or what you think other people want you to write, and you will feel great.

    I, for one, can’t wait to read the rest of your witch story, and you know how much I do NOT love “paranormals”. But this doesn’t strike me as a paranormal. Because you have a great writing voice, and your characters feel real to me, and funny, and human. Don’t lose confidence in yourself. You rock!

  3. Jen Says:

    I’m right there with you here. One thing I knew for sure. Even though Vampires were popular, I couldn’t write them. No way. But other than that, I’ve tried my hand at just about everything.
    But I don’t know WHAT sells anymore. So writing to “sell” from MY perspective is crazy. By the time I get it figured out, it changes.
    So, I just try and write the story. Then I run into little problems that crop up, like the one I ran into with the sequel to “Heart Of The Storm”.
    I’m taking a workshop at Romance Divas and Shannon K. Butcher (who is doing the workshop) is talking about staying motivated. She talked about staying confident and how tough it is not to have self doubt.
    Needless to say, I’m taking notes.
    Hang in there. If you can chat with Lauren Dane about this stuff, you’re doing great.

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