Writing For Yourself or the Market?

Write from the soul, not from some notion what you think the marketplace wants. The market is fickle; the soul is eternal.
Jeffrey A. Carver

At this years Pikes Peak Writers Conference, I was introduced to many agents and editors saying “here is what we want”, “here is where the marketplace is ” and it wasn’t where I was so I panicked…in my frantic mind I was thinking I could write differently, I could give them what they wanted. But in reality, months later I know I can’t. I write poetry,short stories and I’m writing a manuscript that may or may not sell and I’m OK with that. I think it’s easier to write articles when the editor tells you exactly what they’re looking for, but in fiction and poetry it’s hard to take your voice and mold it to the market. It seems insincere and dishonest. I’m all for learning the craft and taking constructive criticism but I can’t change my voice for the market. Today, write about your voice. When did you discover it and has it changed? Could you write in another voice to sell a manuscript? Now get back to work!


The Writing Nag

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3 Replies to “Writing For Yourself or the Market?”

  1. My writing voice showed up sometime in high school. I think it’s grown up a bit with me, but I’ve only grown up a bit. I believe your voice is your voice. You can change genre or format, but the voice will bleed through.

    As far as writing to the market, it’s a ridiculous proposition. What the market is today is not what the market will be tomorrow. I have to admit that the advice from some of the PPWC staffers bothered me. If you write with the marketing in mind, you’ll more than likely get rehashed DaVinci Code or Harry Potter. I’d prefer to lead the market, not follow.

    Write what you’re passionate about. It’s the only reason for a real writer to write.

  2. Thanks Debbie,
    When I read a writer that is passionate about what they write I want to read more. If not, I’m bored. I love your line about leading the market, not following it. That’s the positive attitude I love to hear from fellow writers!

  3. I missed the conference this year, and every year. sigh… re: blogging – Keep writing what you are passionate about Pat, the market will find you via other methods. (keywords, networking etc etc)…

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