I just read the latest post on a writing forum on Linkedin and I’m appalled. The fact that people suggest writers write specific subject matter to sell more books is appalling.
As an artist, your work is your work and not someone else’s so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. O.K., I mean if an editor or agent tells you that you should fix this sentence or this scene needs more, etc., etc., etc., then I understand. Yes, listen to them. They’re trying to make your work better. But if anyone suggests (even if it’s your agent or editor) that you should write a sex scene just for the sake of a sex scene, don’t do it.
I hate to tell you this, but if you’re writing for the money, find a new job. Writing is not about making money. I mean, yes, we all want to make money. That’s understandable. And of course it would be awesome if you got paid for your art, but you should be writing because you enjoy writing, not because you want to make money. If you’re interested in money, go into business. They’re always hiring.
But if you’re actually interested in being a writer, then money is not your first priority, writing is.
Many writers have to work other jobs just so they can support themselves. And not all those jobs are writing involved. You could work in a grocery store or some other minimum wage job. Though, granted, I would hope that by the time you’re 40 you’re not working at some job like that but sometimes it can’t be helped.
But back to writing.
Yes, you can be published with trash. It’s been known to happen: Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey, and probably any erotic novel. But if these are the books that interest you, read new books. I’m serious. It pisses me off when these writers are published. This is not literature, this is crap. And crap should not be published but it is. And it seems that crap sells and that shouldn’t be but there are clearly a lot of crapminded people in this world (in other words, uneducated when it comes to literature).
But this wasn’t supposed to become a hatespeech.
I don’t know about you, but I would be embarrassed if I made money off crap. You should enjoy what you write, not be disgusted by it. I don’t know, maybe these writers actually think their work is good and weren’t just aiming to sell books.
Of course your aim should be to sell books, but don’t drastically change your book unless you want to. Remember, it’s your book and not someone else’s so don’t let someone else decide what’s write.
Don’t get me wrong, there are franchises that contain well written books like Harry Potter. Some would argue that Harry Potter is not literature but I’m pretty sure we’ve now thrown it into that category.
Anyway, whether it’s classified as “literature” or not is not the point. The point is that it’s well written and it’s not trash.
But if you enjoy writing trash, go ahead, write your crap. But I’m not going to read it and neither should anyone else.