Friday, December 7, 2012

Writing What You Love

Okay, so as I prepare to finally look beyond my Possession series, I'm faced with every author's greatest nightmare -- which is also our greatest joy -- the blank page.

The possibilities are endless with a blank page. I can create a male main character or a female. Someone people will like, or someone who needs a lot of fixing before we see the goodness within. I can imagine a new world, or use one I'm familiar with.

Today, I just wanted to remind myself -- and all of you out there laboring against the blank page -- that we should be writing what we love. Trends come and go. But good writing and good storytelling always win out.

We should not be searching for "the next big thing." I believe artists of any kind, writers included, should be doing these things:
1. Always seeking to advance their knowledge of their craft
2. Creating what they love to create
3. Helping others along their path

So those are the things I'm preparing to do at the close of this year. I will attend conferences and workshops, continue to be critiqued and edited, and read my brains out to improve my craft.

I will continue to support the authorly community, both online and by buying books.

And I will write what I love to read. I don't really know what it will be yet (fantasy? Contemporary?), but I know that it will be the kind of writing I can be proud of.

Do you write what you love? What is that, exactly?

27 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

So true Elana that we need to write what we love, learn, and support others. I write fantasy because that's what I love and continued to work on my high fantasy story over the years even though not as many agents are looking for it.

The blank page is hard for me this time as I start a new project even though I know where it's going. It is not moving quickly. Sometimes I just have to put words on the page.

Laura Pauling said...

I do write what I love but I have branched out and experimented to challenge myself as a writer and that's been good. I have to say I love a good story more than I love a certain genre. And I think this is an exciting place to be! I'm sure you're not short of ideas - it's choosing which one!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I absolutely write what I love. And I love a lot of different genres, so I've got lots to choose from.

Jemi Fraser said...

I totally agree! I spent over a year trying out different genres to make sure I'm really writing what I love. It's something I want to do for a long while, so I want to love every moment!

Excited for you and your new story! LOVE the blank page :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like number three.
Yes, I write what I enjoy reading. Not sure where I am going once my trilogy is done.

Heather Sunseri said...

I find it impossible to even fathom what the next "big thing" will be. I agree with you though, I know I'll always write what I love to read, and I'll do my best to make sure my craft improves with each thing I write. And if I can help a fellow writer along the way, then I'm super happy.

Kelly Hashway said...

I definitely write what I love as opposed to what the trend is. That's why I have both paranormal and contemporary romance novels coming out. Um, and I write everything from picture books to middle grade to young adult. :)

Christine Fonseca said...

I love this! And I wrote something really similar to a friend today! Thank you for the post!

Angela Brown said...

So much truth to your words.
It would be nice to pen the Next Big Thing, however, I have a few stories that are things things I love.

I love Neverlove. I heart it. I am so glad I self-pubbed it even if the marketing angle is a tireless work-in-progress. There are so many books out there like it, stories about forbidden love, hell, suicide and abuse. But Neverlove is MY story and I'm glad to share it with the world even though it isn't some Breakout Novel.

I love the YA urban/fantasy dystopian I'm working on. It's got Hunger Games and Selection similarities to boot but this is MY story told my way. Even though there are tons of stories like it, I LOVE this story and will do what I can to get it out to the world as well.

Other projects are projects I simply love. That's what helps me stay up late to write for a few minutes longer. Because I LOVE what I'm writing. And like a hormonal teen that sometimes stresses me out with its temperaments, the story loves me back when I find those lines that make me tear up and truly enjoy reading something I wrote.

Publishing comes as a plus. My writing is a MUST.

Julie Daines said...

That is really the best advice. Trying to force yourself to write something you don't love--but that you think will sell--only creates a work that doesn't have your heart in it. Thanks!

JeffO said...

Great post, Elana. I do write what I love, I'm just not sure what to call it!

ilima said...

Yes. Yes. And yes. I love this post. Right now I love YA sci-fi and want to keep going down that road, but I'm willing to write whatever it is I love. So true.

Matthew MacNish said...

From your lips to god's ears.

I do write what I love. What is that? Not sure, but so far it seems to be different each time. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I do write what I love. There's no point doing it any other way. You won't have the same passion writing something you don't love, and your readers will see it.

Yay for craft. I can't enough of it. :D

Dustin Hansen said...

Well said, Elana. I know that whatever you'll choose will drip with your personality and abundant love for others. You're a gem and I can't imagine my writing without you being involved.

You're a great writer and a wonderful friend.

No go do horrible things to your MC :)

Julie Luek said...

"Reading my brains out" is also on my resolution list and actually the primary goal for December. Learn, learn and rewrite. Yes, you're so right-- write what we love with pandering to the trends.

Jessie Humphries said...

The good thing is that I love so much, its endless possibilities. Contemp, fantasy, YA, middle grade, whatev. Bring it on!

Liza said...

I wrote a post recently that said something like, it's good to write what you know, it's better to write what you love. I'm with you girl!

Martha Ramirez said...

LOVE your three steps. VERY true!

I am a sucker for YA. A YA junkie. I'll read adult books too but that YA voice keeps at me. It hangs heavy in my heart. I feel it is a part of me. I just love reading and writing YA.

It's a BEAUTIFUL thing to write what you love. It really is. Passion is everything.

Great post! X

Robin said...

So true. Write what we love and support the writing community. I'm sure whatever you create next will be incredible!

Kathryn Purdie said...

Awesome, Elana. I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns and writing what you love. That's what I've committed to doing too. I might be the only one who likes my books, but my opinion is the most important. Ha!

Wendy Lu said...

Elana, you are lovely! I think you're absolutely right in that it's important to write what we love, because otherwise, how can writing ever be something we enjoy?

I can imagine it must be scary to move forward, especially from characters and a series you've gotten comfortable with. I have no doubt you'll find new wonderful adventures to fall in love with.

Enjoy the ride :)

~Wendy Lu

The Red Angel Blog

erica and christy said...

My first love (reading and writing) is YA contemporary, but that's not always what ends up on the blank page. Then again, I'm the person who can't name their favorite book, or movie, or show, or. . .
erica

whimsicalwerecat said...

To write what we love - a great reminder for us all, thanks Elana! Also, your three steps perfectly sum up what every writer should work towards. Love your positive and hard-working outlook. Keep on keeping on, girl! ;)

Heather said...

I didn't used to, but I do now. I couldn't agree more that in the end, that is what really matters. We must love what we do and what we write!

June G said...

You're spot on as usual, Elana. I can't wait to see what you're going to write next!

Nicole said...

Alway, always, always. I love what I write! :)

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