Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Friday, March 30, 2012

Writing for the Market vs. Writing for Art

Some writers find it easy to decide what to write about; it just comes naturally to them and flows onto the page. Others (and perhaps the majority) find that it takes a little longer to decide exactly what they'd like to write about; this stage could include story plans, character studies, and much more. The story may grow and evolve many times before a final version is settled upon. Another influence may be what is currently popular with the book-buying public: a fact that brings us to our main point here - is it ever OK to choose your subject matter and genre based on what is selling at the time, or is that nothing more than 'selling out'?

It's the age-old debate between Money and Art. For more on this discussion go here.....

(This is the final serious writerly post before I get really STUCK in the ALPHABET, pursuing the theme of the Making and Selling of Books.)

Sunday, April 1, is THE DAY, and that's no fooling hehe

14 comments:

  1. If I tried to come up with an idea based on what I think would be commercially successful, it would be terrible and wouldn't be written honestly if that makes sense. For me, I need to write what comes to me and go from there.

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  2. I think you should write what you have passion for. If it's what's popular at the time, go for it. If it's not, that's good too. As long as there is a desire to write a good story.

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  3. Always write 'what moves you and what interests you' was good advice given to me years ago. I still try to stick to that...

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  4. I think the ONLY way writing purely for the market would work well is if the writer happens to have a passion for that particular "popular" subject or genre. However, considering now much time it takes for a book to go from concept to completed and published, what's popular with the reading public at the onset may be completely out of favor by the time the public actually has a chance to read it.

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  5. I wrote what I wanted and it worked.
    Two more days to the Challenge!!!!

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  6. I don't choose the story, the story choose me.

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  7. Happy A to Z game to all you A/Zheads out there.

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  8. Hi Karen - I think one needs to think long-term and that could be something that's fashionable now, but also will last long term .. murder, detective, food related ... history related .. but you have to be yourself - you were in Farm Girl .. and House of Diamonds will get read!!

    Cheers and am looking forward to the ABCs .. happy writing and last day .. Hilary

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  9. I don't think I would call it selling out if a person decided to write what is selling/hot. It could be a challenge for them. However, it may not be a good idea to do this because of the time-to-market factor. What's hot now may not be as hot in a year and half. So it's good to write what you love, what you know and what you can proudly stand behind no matter the heat factor for a subject matter.

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  10. I probably lean more toward art, but in the means of trying to say something expressive, and not so much trying to be the best writer out there. If I had to write for market, I'd find a way to get excited about the project so that I could enjoy the process.

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  11. It's not because it's selling out, but I never suggest writing for the current market. The only reason why is this: the lit market turns around much faster than the products. So if you write for the current market, it might not be there for you if you produce the story. Might as well write something you feel passionate about, then. :-)

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  12. For me it works if I'm true to my gut instinct and write what I want to write - trying to conform to a genre market never works for me - my stories come out too forced and false.

    Take care
    x

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  13. Good luck with the A-Z challenge. I look forward to seeing how everyone does.

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