I recently saw an article titled 8 stories YA agents and Publishers want right now. In all fairness to the author of said article, I was on the site in the first place because of an amazing post, and though I took issue with the author’s title, both of the articles had valuable information in them, for any writer. However, that said, I’d been ignoring the issue of what to write for quite some time, and I finally just had to wrestle the bull by its horns. I’ve heard some people say that if you write what the market is ready for, you’ll be able to find a publisher, and have a better chance at record-breaking sales. Then again, I’ve heard some people say that you should write whatever stories you’ve been given, regardless of what the market wants. Finally, I’ve heard the “It depends on why you write” approach. Still though, I’ve never really found any decisive exposé on the matter. Sure, one side will provide a convincing argument until you read a paper from the other, and you’re just as lost as you are where you started. But finally, after much reading and more contemplating, I have come to a verdict: a writer should write whatever story/genre/character arcs/ conflict they want to. In short, writers should write whatever. And not only have I reached a verdict, but I’ve come up with 8 matter of fact evidences to back up my conclusions. So here you go: 8 Reasons to Write Whatever
1. You’ll write with more passion
Whatever you do in life, you’re going to be more passionate about it if it’s something you’re naturally passionate about. I don’t know if this is a good thing, but it’s true. If something is your idea, if it belongs to you, you’re naturally going to pour all your energy into it. if something is someone else’s, if it’s an idea you don’t like, but you’re writing it because it will sell, you’re not going to pour your heart and soul into it, simply because it’s not you. To state it simply, if it’s your idea, it’s going to be authentic, if not, it won’t. And authenticity can make or break a story. Ask anyone.
2. You’ll write with more devotion
To put it another way, you’ll finish your book. You don’t give up on something you’re passionate about. That simply doesn’t happen. Sure you may lapse and need a break, but if it’s your novel you won’t be able to let it lie. If, on the other hand, the only reason you’re writing a book is because it may sell well, you’re going to lose sight of your goal. Writing a novel is hard work. Very Hard Work. If your story doesn’t mean your life to you, you will struggle to finish the task as you sludge through the months of drafting, only to face months of rewriting. You can only have so much devotion to a story that’s not yours.
3. You’ll write with more you
Whether you prefer not to see to see the author in his prose or not, the author is going to be in his novel. You may not necessarily be able to discern his particular voice in the narration, but every writer is in his story somewhere. It’s what keeps your story from being John Doe’s. Fact is, “writing is easy, you just sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” If you write your story, you’ll naturally be in it, heart and soul, which will communicate authenticity to your reader, and take your story to the next level.
4. You’ll write with more originality
This one’s not hard to explain. If you’re writing for the market, you’ll be writing what everyone else is. If you’re writing for you, you’ll be writing something new, exciting, and original. Next.
5. You’ll write with more conviction
Every story has a message. For better or worse, every story communicates a set of values to its reader. If you’re writing your story, with the message you feel passionate about, you novel will have more conviction in between the lines, which will make it more convicting in the reader’s eyes.
6. You’ll write with more meaning
If you write your story, you’re going to be able to say whatever you need to say about life, the world, other people, yourself, etc. If you write you story, you won’t be bothered with struggling to make the plot not sound like the latest New York Times bestseller, so your effort can be directed to the heart of your story, which may change a reader’s life.
7. You’ll write with better starting points
Also fairly straight forward, you’re novel will have a better opening, closing, and even middle, because it will be full of your characters, stuck in your situations, dealing with your conflicts, and struggling to relieve themselves of your burdens. Everything in your story will feel more real, because it’s not fake.
8. You’ll write with more knowledge
Let’s face it, we all have things we love learning about, and things we actively avoid in our studies. If you write what you want to write, it will most likely be related to what you know, and you will be a more intelligent writer, plus, you’ll be sticking with what you know, which is an oft upheld slogan of writing.
There you have it, 8 actual reasons to write whatever you want, regardless of the market. And you know what, maybe you won’t get published. Maybe Simon & Shuster will tell you your story is ten years ago, or maybe it’s ahead of its time. Maybe it’s just ‘not what we need right now.’ But if you write what you love, your story will be yours, and it will be better for it. There are always people looking for a good book and maybe, one day, you’ll find them.