Look at me look at me!
I’m everything you need!!!
Gimmick here, ploy there, marketing strategy, staketing mrategy, stragety kamerting…
Marketability is always an issue. It’s floating around every artist as we pretend it doesn’t matter because all we care about is our finished work. True or fictional, everything I write is a part of myself. Right down to my damn grocery list.
Some pieces are junk that just help me remember to get eggs, others need to be published.
The more I write the more the pressure to please builds. That’s common. It’s never easy to separate one’s self from the audience because if we wish for our work to appeal to others we have to remember them.
I’ve heard people talk about how solitary and selfish writing is. I think that’s all wrong. Writing is a collective effort. You have to have input, lessons, and group activities to grow your skills.
It’s highly important to find your voice but also balance that with appeal.
Appealing to others is the great trick of publishing.
How will others receive my work?
Will it change their lives, their perspective, or will they forget it and move on to something else?
These questions matter.
Longevity often requires a slow build. People who find instant success can have staying-power, but it takes a lot of self-control and humility.
There has to be a balance between creative control and thinking of others. Pandering directly with gimmicks and fads might boost sales for a short time. There are always novelties to explore if that’s what you’re going for.
Sometimes novelties work at the right time and unskilled authors get rich, but more often than not, they don’t.
The question of what an author wants for themselves and their work is what matters. Then looking at what you can do and if you can write something you know people like, need, and want is a good place to start.
I’ve been at this for so long I have lists of idea I wish to work on but have to narrow my focus and go after what has the best chance of gaining a higher readership. There are plenty of calls for themed anthologies or manuscript wish lists.
I never recommend writing something just for that without any other market in mind, not unless the story is sure to be accepted. It gets too gimmicky and leads to clichés.
The best way to know where to go with new ideas is to: read, listen, and follow your gut.
- Reading stories, books, columns, writing craft articles and more offers more perspective.
- Listening to readers who comment and share your work matters. It’s important to respect that bond and nurture it.
- Instincts can be tricky, but if you learn to trust yourself you’re gut reactions will lead you where you need to be without having to sell your soul for a cheap trick.
Keeping the art ART is always my goal. I could write a bunch of junk and ride one wave until I crash against a rock bed, but I’d rather swim through it all.