I have been writing bits and pieces on this blog for a little while now, and as I do it is becoming clear that I am using it as a platform to ask questions about the often confusing world of writing. These questions are touching upon subjects that I think about when approaching my work, and I am sure are questions that others ask themselves from time to time. As always, I find that people’s answers are helpful and interesting, and I’m always glad to hear what others in the same position have to say.
So, here are my deliberations on the question described in the title of this blog. My first thought is that every writer who sets out to get published must have one eye trained, no matter how vaguely, on what is happening outside of their immediate writing environment. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be sitting there, eagerly following the current figures and sales of the latest trend; but they must be thinking of how the material they’re writing is going to be taken by others. After all, who would want to read it if it was all about you. But then, there is the other side of things, the fact that everybody has shared experiences, and this is what people enjoy so much in other people’s writing; therefore, if you just write what comes naturally, then someone is bound to find an echo of their own life in what you’ve written.
As usual, I think that it is probably somewhere in the middle, and it probably depends a lot on the genre (that old chestnut again), that the writer is writing in: For example, the sci-fi novelist is probably a lot more outward looking than, say, the literary novelist. My main concern in all of this is that if you think too much about what others want, you end up writing things that veer away from your original intentions: also there is the danger that you are just churning out another “write by numbers” formulaic piece of fodder.
I personally try to set out writing something that means something to me (which is a good start, I guess!), something that will keep me charging on through the darkness, because that is the reason that I write: to process my life, and what happens to me. I think that I am lucky in the fact that the material I do write (I hope), is fairly accessible to most people, and I think that is because as writers, it is our job to remind people of what their lives are really about, remind them of the beauty of the everyday. Perhaps if my life was too far from normal, that would make me unreadable, because there would be no connection to others.
Well, I think I’ve come to some sort of loose conclusion on that one; or maybe not.
- Her Need to Write (cicampbellblog.wordpress.com)
- About Writing (joyfulhorizons.wordpress.com)
- I’m an introvert who plays an extrovert in real life… (mimosamorningswriters.wordpress.com)