Writing for a Market or Writing what’s in your Heart?

Posted: June 10, 2009 in Marquesate, Publishing, Writing
Tags: ,

This is a very interesting question, and one that clearly has no definitive answer, only answers that are right for every individual author. I guess you can imagine which answer is right for me, certainly after my post on the integrity of the author’s voice.

There’s been a discussion on a forum I’ve been on for years, about this very thing, if one should write for a market, regardless if one feels like it, to maximise publishing (and money earning potential), or if one should write what one strongly feels like. I suspect the answer isn’t straightforward, but tied into an individual author’s context. I, for example, don’t “need” to make money from writing, I don’t live off it nor try to, I have a demanding job. Clearly, that puts me in a position where money I make from writing is regarded as luxury, not necessity, and every penny makes me happy because it’s just wonderful to sell stories. That luxury also comes with the luxury of not having to write for a market – at the same time I can’t write for a market anyway, because it’s just not the way my creativity functions.

I am fascinated by authors who can write for markets, and turn out stories that might not have been in their heart. I could never do that, since I regard writing as an art, not a craft, and art always comes from deep within. Motivation, emotion and creativity are strongly interconnected.

So, do I want to make a judgement of what is “better”? I am inclined to do so, because if I am anything then a person of strong opinions, but I wouldn’t think that it is fair, not regarding the context that every individual exists in. Do I make a judgement for myself? Yes, I feel confident to do so.

I, personally, would never write for a market, and I only write what I want to, what I feel strongly about, what I am emotionally involved in, and what is in my heart, so to speak. Let’s face it, when I started writing military gay erotic fiction, it wasn’t really a genre. No one specialised in it, and anything military was only used as a backdrop like a stage prop. Let’s not get started with the factual errors in some stories, either. I still wrote it, though, because that’s where my interest lies and where my expertise is now. As Marquesate, I certainly won’t write anything else, because that’s what Marquesate does.

I firmly believe that if one writes what one strongly feels about, then there will be readers. Because a story comes to life when the author truly feels for the characters, the plot, the setting and believes in their own story. If the same goes for something written for a market? I wouldn’t want to answer that, because that is a question that each reader would have to answer for themselves.

I would still write what I write even if no one wanted to read it. 🙂

Photo copyright its copyright owner. Without permission.

  1. E.R. says:

    Yes, I think a story has to emotionally resonate inside of you. Readers can tell when it doesn’t. Above all, you have to love your characters or at least care about them.

    A problem these days are publishing contracts. An author signs a contract for 2 or 3 books, but might only have one book in him or her. The result are a lot of so-so second books obviously written to a deadline.

    I guess art and commerce will always clash! ; )

  2. Marquesate says:

    Ah yes, wise words about art and commerce. Few are lucky enough to be commercial with their art, the other way to be free of the commerce is to be financially independent from your art – but in most cases that means you have very little time for your art. Still, it’s worth it. 🙂

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