Write What You Love

In a few weeks, I’ll be teaching my creative writing class again (as long as enough people sign up for it…winter sometimes deters would-be participants), and once again I’ll be proclaiming: write what you love.

It seems obvious, right? Why would you write a cozy mystery if you prefer thrillers? But it’s funny how often people are deterred by sales potential. “But vampire novels are selling like hotcakes. I should write a vampire novel.” Or: “I love writing science fiction, but I’ve heard it’s a hard sell for a first time novelist.”

Stop and think about this. Why do you want to write? I have provided a quiz to see where you walk along the literary road. Answer true or false.

1) I want to work at home in my pajamas and churn out stories for a living.

2) I want the people I went to high school with to realize I turned out smarter, richer, and happier than they did.

3) I am interested in how and why people act in particular situations.

4) When I read a story I often think I could have written it better than the original author.

5) I have a lot of ideas and plan to write them into a story someday.

6) I love to read, and often finish one or two books a week.

7) I want to make a lot of money writing.

8) Whenever I read a news story about someone doing something horrible, I can’t help but try to psychoanalyze their behavior.

9) I want people to think I’m gifted.

10) I don’t want to work for someone else; I want to be my own boss.

Ha! You probably thought I was going to give low marks for answering questions 1, 2, 7 and 9 as true, but know what?  Many writers feel this way. The important thing is that you answered 3, 6 and 8 as true. If you didn’t, writing fiction might be more difficult for you.

Sure, answering true to questions 2, 4 and 9 might mean you’re an ego-maniac, and answering true to both  questions 1 and 2 might mean an introverted life might suit you, but it may be a that every one of us has a little bit of need to feel as if we can take care of ourselves and succeed doing it.

Now that you may have a better idea of why you want to write, consider, what is the story you want to tell? I recently started a paranormal…not my usual thing. When I presented the synopses to my agent, she recommended taking out the paranormal part. Why? Because I was out of my element. My strength, she told me, lies in social dynamics. I should concentrate on that aspect rather than the supernatural one.

In other words, I need to write with my strengths in mind. I need to write what I love, and I love writing about teens and their feelings of inadequacy. Their need to figure out who they are. Their psychology. That is, after all, what I love.

What about you?



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9 responses to “Write What You Love

  1. DD

    How truthfull should I be about the amount of trues I answered? Hehehe. But you are so right. Write what you know and what you like. You’re voice will reflect your desire of the subject. Great Post Kim.
    Deb Diez

  2. Ole’, Kim! You’ve not only hit on where our goals should be, but also on some of the whims of wanna-be writers. Enjoyed the good reminders.
    Joan Baier

  3. K.L. Gore

    Thanks, Deb and Joan. Appreciate your comments. 🙂

  4. say

    But what I know is procrastination and sloth. I think you see my problem.

  5. Very useful blog. It was very relavant. I was searching exaxtly for this. Thank you for your effort. I hope you will write more such interesting posts.

  6. Very useful blog. It was very relavant. I was looking exaxtly for this. Thank you for your effort. I hope you will write more such interesting posts.

  7. Great blog, Kim. It brought up some interesting points I didn’t realize I was already doing. Thanks.

  8. hello everyone, my computer is being a prat and wont let me post on the this blog , so i had to post on my blog. So everyone enjoy!!

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