Payment vs Passion

Writers' retreat
Writers’ retreat

At one time, every piece of advice you would have received about writing for either the market, or your own personal passion, would come down on the side of passion. The question is: does that hold true now?

If you want to sell your book, is there any room in the marketplace for something uniquely yours, from the heart, bashed out with searing anger, tears, and heart-felt bitterness—oops, was that the passion I was talking about before?

If we want to write a best-seller, do we study the market to determine what is doing well and then try and emulate that particular genre? Many writers do, and it works well for them. Do we adapt our unique novel to suit the popular market?

Or, do we put another piece of kindling on the meagre fire, rub our frost-bitten hands together, sit down in our windy garret—I mean writers’ retreat—and stay true to ourselves?

What’s your opinion?

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2 Responses

  1. I go for the latter, Michael. I mean, do we really need another shade of grey or whatever?

    1. Hmm, I was thinking about that the other day, Grant. Is it possible that Shades of Grey and the like may actually encourage people who wouldn’t normally pick up a book to start the process of reading? I wondered if that process was a little like wine appreciation. As teenagers we slurp back the cheapest vino around and then gradually (hopefully) evolve towards the finer drops.