Many successful authors preach passion. That is, they urge writers to follow their bliss, write the stuff their hearts say is their passion. But that coming-of-age novel or literary book you’re on fire about may have to wait.
Writing Tip for Today: At least as many literary agents advise writers to “write something that sells,” in order to establish themselves as worthy. Genre novels such as romance or mystery, are always in demand, they assert. After you’ve successfully broken in as a published author with a track record, some say, a writer might be able to convince the publisher to take a risk on yet another coming-of-age novel. I struggle with this two-edged sword too. Some of my worries and questions:
- Audience. If I write a light romance, how easy or hard will it be for me to write to another audience? Will my romance readers be disappointed if there isn’t enough romance? And will my more mainstream readers resent my pandering to the genre?
- Branding. If I’m supposed to create a brand, what exactly is it? Is the writer better off to keep struggling and perhaps failing in their “passion” area, or is it better (if one assumes that one is willing do do almost anything to write and be published) to be grateful for the romance market’s insatiable appetite?
- Self-pub? Even in self-publishing, one important piece of advice is to KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE. If I write sweet inspirational romances and also publish literary (and much more complex) short stories, they’ll both come up on an Amazon search. Which writer is the real me? And will readers be turned off by my efforts?
What do you think about all this? I’d love to hear your comments.