Friday, January 10, 2014

The Artist

Sometimes, it's difficult to see everything within the industry. Watching trends, figuring out what's popular, trying to write the next big seller... but I've been thinking about this for a while.

And it's so easy to become ensconced in one corner of the writing world. Seeing what that one crowd wants and working hard to make the theme in  your book just right. It's work. Maybe not hard, but still--work. Perhaps the perspective on life and what's happening in the publishing industry gets narrowed.

All of a sudden, an author might question what in the world she's doing. Her stories hardly ring true anymore, she feels more like a drone than an imaginative, creative individual! Not me, an author. ;)

But I think that's why it's really important to READ everything. [yes, that's a bias statement--I'll explain] I've been reading romance since I was twenty-two, and it's usually contemporary, occasionally historical, always mainstream. When I say everything, I do admit that I won't read certain genres. For me, inspirational romance is a no. I'll read Christian fiction or Mainstream written by a Christian that is sweeter or maybe falls into the women's lit category. But Romance for me is a hard sell with no desire shown or implied. [but if you've followed me at all since I started this blog years ago, you probably already know how I feel--or you can read about it here and here!!] So, I don't read Inspirational Romance... fine. But there is so much to read!

Historical, Paranormal, Action/Adventure, YA, NA, Sci-fi...but wait! There's more! :D There's always one more genre out there to get our hands on in order to keep apprised of the industry and what it's doing. It's never as simple as "everyone is reading about vampires." Maybe writing that Vampire novel will help us grow as writers... maybe stepping out and doing something new is good for honing those skills. Yet, perhaps when we find ourselves writing against the grain, it's time to remember that there is a market for every genre. Every one!! [...no, not the one that tells the history of your family. Sorry!] There is a saying, if you don't like who you've become, change your friends. That can be true in this industry, too. If you don't like what you're writing, change your publisher! [again, I don't mean me. I'm just saying hypothetically] :D

Are we difficult artists if we write what we want to write? Or do we bring the best out in ourselves by allowing those creative juices to flow? How do you find a balance between this-is-business and this-is-art??


3 comments:

  1. The point you are making here rings true with me. I don't remember what drew me to your blog way back when, but if I hadn't started reading it I would never have started that YA/romance/coming-of-age story I'm working on. I would never have even considered it a possibility. I promise I will finish it someday. My time is so limited right now that I haven't even read the book my own poem is published in... what can I say!

    Actually, I do know what to say: Thank you!

    Also, I had a couple questions/observations I will e-mail you off-line (or off-blog) when I get the time!

    And it looks like Letters From Home is into triple-digit sales territory. Congratulations!

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    1. Are you saying I just now broke a hundred sales?! Why does that depress me a little... haha. :D I'm pleased though. It took me twice as long to hit that with For Love or Duty, so it's definitely a good thing.

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    2. I don't have the best source for your sales, but it hasn't even been 3 months yet, and my last count put you over 100 about a week ago. I think that's real good. Your books seem to have a staying power in that sales keep coming month after month. I've been watching some other authors, and once they stop the heavy promotions, their sales drop to zero. Then they end up giving them away to get readers. People actually put their money down to buy your books. As you get an audience, the sales for the next book will be greater and sales will stack up more quickly. Looks pretty good to me!

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