If there’s a No. 1 rule in writing, it’s to write what you’re passionate about.
A lot of writers don’t. ‘There’s a story trend for zombies – right, I’ll write a zombie novel’. Except by the time it comes out, the trend’s moved a bit. And what you really wanted to write was a story about pirates.
It’s true in non-fiction, too. ‘I really want to write an account of Saxon burial practises, but ooooh it looks like books about religious conspiracies are gaining ground just now, so I’ll write one of those.’
Books that are constructed for a specific market certainly work if the author’s passionate about that particular subject. (Yes, yes, I just luuuurve writing about 21-inch bicycle wheel construction.’) But it’s the kiss of death to force yourself to write something just because you think it’ll sell more than what you really wanted to write.
Writing what you really want to write has one huge advantage. You get passionate about it. Passion lends authenticity – and it’s that blend of passion, authenticity and author excitement that makes readers want to start reading – and keep on reading.
It’s not hard, and it’s not even really a secret.
The kicker, though, is keeping that passion. You get fired up about a topic – yes, I’ll write a book on it! But as you dig into it, you find that passion waning – because all things have their boring sides, or maybe it turns out that what appealed for you wasn’t really what the subject was about. It happens.
Books take a while to write – and yes, it IS possible to crank out 50,000 words in 30 days, but that’s usually only the beginning of the writing process.
One way around fading enthusiasm is to re-visit whatever it was fired you up about the subject in the first place. Can you inject that into the boring parts?
Remember – if an idea, a concept, or a story fires you up, it’ll probably also fire up your readers.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015