I write fantasy romance novels because that is what I love. Magic, knights, necromancers, and dragons. A hero and heroine who will fight through everything thrown at them and then live happily ever. It’s not a popular area of writing, not like Regency, nor is it the “next up and coming thing”.
But I both love to read it, and I love to write it. (When I can find the kind of work I like to read, anyway. If you know any Stephanie Laurens meets Tolkien authors, let me know!
When I am working in my world, and it frequently is work, it’s a place I want to be with characters I love or love to hate.
This is the TED talk I watched while on maternity leave and is what inspired me to write again: https://www.ted.com/talks/larry_smith_why_you_will_fail_to_have_a_great_career?language=en
Putting it succinctly, Larry Smith tells you to follow your passion. To do what you would do even if you weren’t paid for it.
It really put into context a lot of things for me.
Or maybe it spurred a midlife crisis.
Either way, it got me to write again.
After subscribing to the Writer’s Digest to get electronic access to agents and publishers, I have also been put on their “send me tons of advertising” list.
I’m amazed at how many solicitations I’ve received. I’m starting to think there are more people making a living on “helping” people become writers than there are people making a living writing.
But I digress. One of the classes that stood out to me was the one showing me how to make a career out of writing. The ad was something like: “The Top 9 Most Lucrative Writing Opportunities.” It’s selling point was that it wasn’t novel writing or anything like it.
Which wasn’t a selling point to me. The whole ad felt so much like a scam that I was reminded of those signs on the side of the road – “Make $2,000 a week from home!”.
Whether it was a scam or not, if you already have a day job that pays the bills, why would you want to do this? Why would you want to trade your current career for a writing gig you don’t actually want to do?
Even if it isn’t a scam, that’s not following your passion.
I say write what you love. Bring your passion. Love your characters. Love how they change through the crucible of your plot.
Your readers will see this, and they will love right along with you.
And it will make the hours of work worth it to you because you are doing what you love.
I’ve never heard of a single “mega-author” admitting that they wrote something they didn’t love. Or that they wrote it because it was “trending” or “made money”. Some authors single-handedly made new genres by writing what they loved (Tolkien comes to mind).
If you’re going to spend the hours writing it, make it something you love. Something you’re proud of. Your passion.