The question for this month is: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?
Writing to Market or Writing From the Heart
My answer to this month’s question is both, depending on the project.
Grendel’s Mother was born from the heart. I gave a female who had no voice in Beowulf—a woman made into a monster—a voice. It was my first book published as an indie publisher.
Two romances, traditionally published in the 90s—were written to market, though my heart was in their locations.
Tomorrow’s Wish for Love, originally published as Tomorrow’s Wishes, is a sweet romance written specifically for Avalon Books who published only to libraries. This book takes place in Grady County, Georgia where I lived for nine years.
Love’s New Beginnings, originally published as New Beginnings, is likewise a sweet romance written for Avalon Books. This book takes place in Calhoun County, Michigan where I was raised and lived currently.
Once I got the rights back, I retitled, revised, and updated them, and gave each a new cover.
Determined Hearts was a book written from my heart, though I had been considering its possible market. It was my second book ever written and it became my first book traditionally sold, published as The Man on the Romance Cover. Once I had the rights back, like the other two romances, I revamped the title, cover, and updated the content.
My cookbook, The Super Simple Easy Basic Cookbook, was born of my lifetime collection of recipes. The bonus of publishing it? Now everyone else had easy access to my recipes…well, for a price.
David & Goliath was truly born of my heart. It’s a book in screenplay format and is a suspense thriller, a category I’m returning to. D&G was one of three scripts I wrote that year.
Miss Mississippi was a script I plotted to market, having researched that I discovered 7 of the top 10 movies—comedies—that year had men in dresses, but then the writing totally came from the heart. That’s the script I optioned and it still gets interest, though now it needs a massive rewrite.
Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot was born both of my heart and written to market. The topic is one I talk a lot about: how to find your passion, your purpose, how Universal Laws operate, and the book is based on my journey of these topics. I’ve had people telling me I needed to write the book, so I finally did.
With students, teachers, and other writers telling me that I needed to write my plagiarism how-not-to book, and my grammar and punctuation book, along with other writing craft topics I’ve taught over the years, these will be upcoming non-fiction how-to books…written from the heart but with the consideration to market.
Writing to market is okay, but writing from the heart is the best because I’m fully engaged and interested as much as the readers will be once I publish the book.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting.