Sometimes, I’ll read a blog and it will hit me in an unusual way. It will make me think about who I am as a writer. It will challenge me to examine myself and why I do what I do. There are some that I revisit and ponder again. And some that finally stir me to put my own thoughts on paper—or computer screen.
Karen Ball of the Steve Laube agency posted such a blog a few months back. It was entitled Embrace Abandon. http://stevelaube.com/?s=embrace+abandon
How often do we let what other people say affect our writing? Things like: write what sells, that’s what agents and publishers are looking for; or, you don’t have what it takes to write romance (or whatever genre we like); or, there’s no market for your kind of book; or, the market is saturated with it.
God has called me to write. Sometimes what I write doesn’t fit the market. And I’ve tried to rewrite or formulate ideas that “fit” the market. And found myself frustrated.
A breakthrough for me came when a prospective agent told me she couldn’t sell one of my novels because my protagonist wasn’t female. I looked at rewriting it with a female lead. And couldn’t.
God waited patiently as I stubbornly beat my head against the wall (computer screen, actually) trying “fix” the story. Eventually, I sensed his gentle tap on my shoulder. “That’s not the story I told you write,” he said in his still, small voice.
His words freed me to write what he planted in my heart, in my spirit. And I could write with passion again, with everything that was in me.
And he reminded me of something else he told me. “I called you to write,” he said. “I’ll take care of the publishing. You take care of the writing.”
As Karen Ball said in her blog, “Don’t write to the market. Write to the call.”
And do it with passion.
Amen, Henry!! I totally agree with you. Sometimes it’s hard not to succumb to the pressures of changing our stories to fit with the market. I’m going to remember to “write to the call”!
Thanks for your post.
Well, I’ve had writer friends attempt to pull my work this way and that, so this post is a breath of fresh air!
I also went and read Helen Ball’s post. Thanks for passing along the encouragement before I forgot Who my primary audience is!
Thank you, Janice.
Darlene, thank you.