Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blog Chain: Who Do You Write For?



*first, a tiny confession: I HATE April Fool's Day. Having been the butt of many jokes, a whole day devoted to pranks, lies and practical jokes just isn't my idea of fun* 

*and this ISN'T an April Fool's thing....I hate it* 

*Really :D*

Okay, enough of that - let's get to our blog topic! This time I get to pick the topic and it was really kind of hard for me. Not because I couldn't think of anything, but because I thought of too many things LOL I had a few ideas percolating, and ended up going with one that my awesome agent bud and total BFF Christine shared with me. It's actually something I've been doing a lot of thinking about lately and I'm curious as to how others writers feel. So, here it is. I want to know:

Do you write for the market or for yourself? Why? Are there times you do both? Or times when you've written something specifically because it was "hot" at the moment? If so, how did it turn out?

I'm really curious about this. I've certainly heard trends and thought, "Ooo it would be fun to write something like that and I've got a great idea with a hopefully new twist!"
And followed through on it, writing a book specifically for that particular trend (my last book, for instance).

I've had ideas that I loved, really wanted to write, that also happened to be a hot market item, though that wasn't my motivation (like my current WIP).

And I've had story ideas that have nothing whatsoever to do with any trend or market hot topic (like my first book, or my other current WIP - which was hard for me to start, by the way, because it really is kind of different and I don't think anyone will ever want to see it - but I can't get it out of my head so *shrugs* what's a writer to do?) :)

So how about you? Who or what do you write for? And why?

27 comments:

Palindrome said...

I write for me, in the hopes that someone else will like it too. Writing is cathartic for me. I used to sink into these deep depressions and I would have no idea why. I finally noticed the connection between my depression and lack of writing. If I'm not writing I get very melancholy. So, mostly for me but I do squeal with delight(inwardly, of course)when someone else enjoys my fiction.

Mandy said...

Ooooh! Good topic, Michelle! I think that writers have a tendency to want to be 'pleasers', whether that be pleasing an agent, a beta, or the market. When I tried to write for what I thought the market wanted, I BOMBED. But when I sat down and wrote for myself, I found success! :D

Michelle H. said...

Interesting question...

For my first manuscript, I wrote it for me. When I tried to get representation, it received very little interest. One agent told me he already had books of the like that weren't selling well and didn't want to take on another one since it wasn't the current trend. He wanted more female-driven plots, which mine wasn't.

Did I let this change my thinking? Not really, since what might be hot at the moment might not be at the time I write and finish a manuscript. Do I still write for me? Sort of. I like to think that I write for the story itself and its characters. I want the plot to surprise and fascinate me while I hope it does the same for the readers.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I think you have to write at least partly for yourself. If you're not enjoying what you write, what's the point?

Falen said...

pretty much just for myself. An acquaintance's agent told me that if i could get a steampunk novel written int eh next 6 months i could most likely get a book deal out of it. And i do have 2 steampunk ideas on theback burner, but it's just not where i want to go right now.
There's really no point to chasing trends, And they allcome back, sooner or later

Stephanie L. McGee said...

I write for me. I write what I want to write and as such I'll probably never get published in any form (poetry or fiction) and I'm slowly starting to accept that.

Crimey said...

With my first novel, I thought of an idea that I thought was a surefire salable piece, so essentially, I had the market in mind when I was writing. That didn't work out. My current work doesn't follow any trends, it's simply a story idea that popped into my head.

Caledonia Lass said...

I write for me. Hopefully I won't ever have to retract that statement. Ever. I see authors out there who seem to write for the masses and it makes me sad that they don't (sometimes) go where the story leads. Characters are perfectly preserved.
Not that I go around killing off every character I have, but hey... Death is good. Sometimes. :D
Great post!

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

I write pretty much for myself. If I followed what's hot, that would be vampires and I don't have the imagination for paranormal or science fiction. Writing challenges me and it amazes me what ends up on paper. When all is done, I'll think about where it will fit in the market. But right now, it's all for me.

Patti said...

I write for me. I think you have to love what you write, because it's going to be a part of you for a long time.

Brian Keaney said...

I write, not for the market, not exclusively for myself, but for readers. Without the reader a novel doesn't really exist, in my opinion.

Angela said...

When I wrote my novel I was not thinking about anything but the story. It never even occurred to me to try to get it published until the last chapter. However, when I started querying I thought for sure it would fit among the novels that are "hot" right now...but from the reactions I'm getting from agents (which are mostly rejections) maybe I was wrong.

Eric said...

Good question. I'm really interested in seeing how everyone handles this, because I'm new to writing and...well, I don't want to answer just yet, but suffice it to say that I hope to learn alot from how everyone else deals with this.

Matthew Rush said...

Hi Michelle, first of all thanks for the follow. I stopped by to return the favor.

As to your question. I most definitely write for myself; writing what I would want to read. That may have something to do with why my current WIP MS is way too long and even though agents say they like the voice and premise they cannot even consider offering representation for a project as long as mine is in its current state.

This is something every writer has to think about. If you really want to be published I think that in this day and age you have to write at least a little for the reader/market/industry. Obviously if you're not doing for yourself too you probably won't have much passion and won't find success. I think like most things in life the answer lies in balance.

Thanks for making me think!

Rebecca Knight said...

Ooooh, great topic! :D I definitely write what I'd want to read, because I feel like that's the best of both worlds.

Also, about April Fools.. I hear ya, but it's also ironic. I'm not telling you why until later ;). (MWAHAHAHA)

Sharon Mayhew said...

I write whatever pops in my head...I'm not fast enough to write what is popular in the current market. Right now I'm writing about a cake, some children in WWII, a greedy kid, and a screwed up teenager...I'm pretty random.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

lbdiamond said...

For sure, I write for me...otherwise I'd lose interest pretty quick, LOL! That being said, I spend much time refining what I've got so it's "market" worthy.

Great topic!!!! ;)

Jemi Fraser said...

I've always written, so I'd have to say for me. It wasn't until about a year ago that I thought about looking into the possibility of publication.

Crystal Cook said...

This is a great topic! I love hearing about this from other writers. I would say I write for myself. I don't think I could put in all these hours if I didn't write something I was crazy passionate about. And I for one think that when writer's write for the market it shows, and it ain't pretty :)

Sarah Bromley said...

Oooh, great topic! I'm very curious to see what the others will say and will give my answer before long.

B.J. Anderson said...

I love this topic! It is a hard one to answer, though. Hmmm. I'm going to have to think on it and get back to you. :D Hey, when are you moving back here? We miss you!

Michelle McLean said...

*sigh* I think I'm a permanent east coaster now - you need to move out here!!! And bring Bethany with you! :D

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

This is a great topic, and I think it really makes us honestly examine in motives in how we choose what to write.

Abby Annis said...

I write what I love. So far, I think it's been in line with what's popular right now, but I don't write any specific trend. Great topic!

Margo Berendsen said...

I've found post on this blog chain at several sites and tracked it back to you. Curious about how a blog chain works, and how to become part of it?

Thanks, Margo

Tahereh said...

great question -- and great answer here :) i've read this post on many other sites! (& you're the source!)

i think it's so important to find a middle ground -- there has to be a balance between writing what you love, and writing what is marketable. i don't think a writer can't get caught up too much in either end.

thanks for sharing!!

elizabeth mueller said...

My friend says I'm an intense person. I'm very passionate. When I write, I do it first for me (of course as I try to balance all the rules, too). It's my every intention to become published, too.

Great post! I love it...