Monday, December 5, 2011

Write what you love.

I've heard so many different things about trends lately. About the most popular upcoming genre. What editors are dying to get their hands on right now. I've heard around the blogosphere that editors are looking for thrillers, gothic novels, and sci-fi right now. Also contemporary, which is a hard sell I've heard, but they still want it.

And guess what? I don't write any of those. In fact, my book I just finished? It's paranormal. And editors are tired of paranormal. (Or so I've heard.) Am I going to put it away and write a thriller that I know I can't pull off? No. I write what I like to write. And you know what? Even if it doesn't sell, I'll be okay. Because timing is everything. What doesn't sell now, may sell later. You never know. That's why it's so important to keep writing. Even if you're querying one book, write another. Even if it's been a week or so since your agent put your book on sub, work on something new. Believe me. You'll go crazy if you don't. I think it's so smart to always have a backup plan, because the ugly truth is? Your book might not sell. Your precious baby that you've worked on for so long, may not catch an editors eye. And it's nice to know you have another book finished in case that happens.

Also, don't follow the trends. The market is so fickle. What's popular this year won't be next year. So, instead of waiting around for a trend to go out or come in, write the story that's calling to you. Perfect your craft. Every book you write, matters. Even if they sell or not. You get so much practice and learn SO much with every book you write. I have 5 books behind me. Five. And I'm pretty sure I don't have a book deal yet to show for it. And that's okay. I've learned so many things on my journey from those 5 books. A few I'll go back to, but some I won't ever touch again. I loved them when I wrote them and they'll always have a little place in my heart. And every time I get discouraged, thinking I won't be able to write another book, I look back and think, "Wait a minute. I've finished 5 books. I can do another one." That's all that keeps me going sometimes.

So, the moral of this post? Keep writing. No matter what happens with the market. No matter what trend is popular or going out of style. Keep writing what you want to write. Write what you love and things will happen. This business is so hard. SO frustrating. But if you keep at it, you'll be okay and things will work out when they're supposed to.

Okay. Enough sappy stuff. How was everyone's weekend? :)

30 comments:

E.R. King said...

I've found my niche in romance, but that doesn't mean my book will sell. That's okay! Each book is an experience, and one that gets me closer to THE one. Writing what you love is the most important part. If you don't, you won't be able to sell it. I often fall for the salesman who LOVES their products. The ones who don't are easily ignored. This is true of writing! So what if thrillers aren't in? If you write it well enough, and you love with all your being, maybe you'll sell an editor on it. You don't know until you try.

Kelsey said...

This post echoes everything I've been thinking/feeling lately.

Leigh Covington said...

So true, Chan - so true! You always have good advice!

Ruth Josse said...

Agree, agree! I really try to not worry about what I should or shouldn't be writing. So stressful. And stress is never good for inspiration and creativity.

Angela Cothran said...

This is such great advice. I think it is impossible to chase a trend anyway. If you write what you love I think your writing will be the best it can :)

David P. King said...

Exactly! Write what excites you, otherwise it won't be exciting. Follow the trends if you must, but they'll change on you. Who would have thought that dystopia would overthrow vampires, right? :)

Cynthia Lee said...

Good for you! I can't imagine spending so much time and energy on a book that you aren't in love with.

Angela Brown said...

Weekend was busy.

And I agree with you totally. Writing what I love makes writing better instead of trying to force something that isn't ready to come from me.

Jessica R. Patch said...

I think you said that perfectly! I write contemp romantic suspense and it's what I like. I love to read paranormal, but I can't pull of writing it or steampunk, which I also hear is a big deal right now! :)

Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

Awesome advice. I think you need to write what you like to write, what you're good at writing. But sometimes, it's fun to dabble in other stuff, too :)

Also--thanks for the blog follow :)

Cassie Mae said...

Oh I love this post! I have a blast writing boy adventures and I'm going to keep writing them darn it! :)

Nicole said...

Agreed! Don't think I could do it any differently even if I tried.

1000th.monkey said...

Great post!

I write in different genres, but for novel-length stories, I stick to the MG/YA age-groups rather than writing for adults.

I know some people think I'm strange in that I'll hop around, but I want to explore different things, different ideas, different styles. Honestly, it doesn't bother me if people hate one of my particular stories 'cause I know I can just go out and write something in the exact opposite genre.

And I write for myself, first and foremost 'cause I know I've got to love it if I'm going to finish the story, then spend all that time re-reading and editing it. If you don't love what you're writing, you won't have the stamina for that very essential part of the process.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

You do what you do.
It makes me think of that song (it hasn't been popular for decades- and yet I still know it- I'm clearly a trend follower)
Go do that voodoo that you do so well.

So voodoo on!

prerna pickett said...

I wrote about something similar over on my blog. I shelved a project I love until a later date because it's a hard sell. But I still love all my other projects, and I'll keep coming back to that other project every now and then.

Meredith said...

"Keep writing"--I love that advice! I can only write what I love, even if there isn't a market for it. Beautiful post!

Nick Wilford said...

Very inspiring post. Totally agree that if it doesn't come from your heart and soul, it won't sell anyway. You might just end up killing your chosen trend because all the people you submit to will be sick of that genre!

Also a good point about not pinning all your hopes on one book. That will only lead to heartbreak (well, more than the usual amount in this game).

Maggie said...

I can't believe it--is YA finally not THE TREND anymore? Just teasing. I agree with you wholeheartedly. If we're lucky enough that our genre happens to be in the trend at the right moment, yay for us! But to try to guess the market is darn near impossible. Write what you love.

Jessie Humphries said...

Well said Chantele. Great advice. I think I fit in the middle though. I heard an agent (Sara Crowe--my bff) say at Storymakers last year that she was looking for some darker contemporary thriller-ish stuff. I dropped what I was doing and wrote exactly what she described. Once I started writing it, it totally became my passion. So I think we can be inspired by advice, but not necessarily trends.

Jessie Humphries said...

By the way, we all know it is only a matter of time before you hit the big time! And I will be the first to do a happy dance for you:)

i'm erin. said...

Great great great advice Chantele. I love writing YA but what I found is I love writing romance! It's embarrassing to admit that to non writers. But that's me. I hope one day it will lead me to publication. If not, I guess I'll just be enjoying my little romance scenes on my own.

Now that I think about it, that's a bit creepy.

JEFritz said...

Great post. Dystopian has certainly been done a lot but I can't imagine writing anything else. It's what I love. It's what makes me want to write.

Christine Rains said...

Wonderful post! When a writer writes what they love, they create a great story. Stories like that can only come from the heart.

Candice said...

I completely agree with this post. Writing my new book is what's keeping me sane while I'm waiting to hear back from agents about my scifi/dystopian (which apparently dystopian is not in demand anymore either). You just have to keep writing!

CNHolmberg said...

I find the confliction of what to write interesting--David Farland will tell you to write what sells, whereas Brandon Sanderson tells you to write what you love.

I'm pro write-what-you-love. I don't think I could finish a book I started just because it's "what's hot" at the moment. :/

Patti said...

I totally agree with you. You have to spend a long time with the book you write so you should absolutely love it.

J. A. Bennett said...

Spot on post! If you don't like what you're writing it WILL transfer to the page. Keep on writing is the perfect advice!

Nisa said...

Amen! I write what I love. I can't imagine trying to write a thriller just because people say that's what's selling right now. It wouldn't be as good as the ones I write for me.

Peggy Eddleman said...

So true! Things are so much better when you don't put all your eggs in one basket. Plus: funner.

Carol Riggs said...

Good encouragement--we need to write what we love, or it won't work. Timing IS everything, but then, even if paranormal isn't hot right now, if it's outstanding and unique enough, it might sell anyway! Or you can just hang onto it until the trends swing around again. ;o)