Welcome, everyone, to today’s inspirational post! From my Twitter and Instagram feeds, I can tell everyone has been hard at work writing, whether it’s your NaNoWriMo project or a novel you’re putting the finishing touches on. Between listening to those in my social media circles or my writing group at home, it seems that we’ve gotten to the point where we’ve hit that creative wall, and the familiar writer’s doubt is starting to creep into our work. People are looking back at all those words and wondering how the heck did this nonsense get here? and where am I going with this? One of the biggest questions going through people’s minds is who in their right mind is going to read this drivel? This brings me to today’s inspirational quote from THE legendary comic book creator, Stan Lee:
I love this quote, as it addresses so many issues we tend to have as writers. Often times we find ourselves stuck between writing the novel we should be writing and the novel that we think others want to read. We play to the market, we play to our friends and family, and we play to our peers, rather than taking the time to indulge the most important person in this creative process: you.
While there may be more pressure when working in traditional publishing, the indie community is no stranger to this problem as well. We try to anticipate what people want to read in order to appeal to more readers and sell more books. We want to build a bigger readership so we try and alter our approach, from changing our original concepts to modifying our style of writing. Eventually, we wind up with something that neither side is happy with: the reader can tell that the work is no longer authentic and the writer feels torn that that they’ve wasted their time on a project they are no longer passionate about.
The bottom line is: this is your work, no one else’s. Write your story, not the one that someone else tells you to write. You know the story that you want to write. It’s the one with the loudest voice in your head and tugging on your heart the most. You need to write the story you were meant to write. Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by the desire to please others if it comes at the cost of compromising your craft. We can’t write our best work when we’re too busy focused on pleasing everybody.
When you write from the heart, people can tell, and as a result you will find your true fans from among the crowd. Those are the people you want in your corner: the ones who appreciate and wish to hear your voice. Even if it’s just a handful, that’s a group of people who genuinely enjoy your writing and who you are. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s worth writing for.
Until next time, keep imagining…