SiWC & A Joke
What's the difference between a large pepperoni pizza and a professional writer? The pizza can feed a family of four.That was the joke Robert Sawyer told at the the opening of his keynote address for the Surrey International Writers' Conference (SiWC) this last October.
His point wasn't that we should stop trying, it was that we shouldn't try to figure out what's 'hot'. You know, vampires, angels, zombies in love, and so on.
What Do You Love?
In the beginning, when we first discovered we wanted to write, we had something to say. We had things that inspired us. Robert Sawyer's message was: Don't lose that! Hang onto that spark.
All the sacrifices you make for your writing--for instance, staying home to write when your friends go out to watch a movie, taking a less than ideal day-job because it gives you time to write--are because of one thing: so you can speak to the world about what YOU care about.
What Is Your Mission Statement?
What is your mission statement? What is important to you? If you make yourself happy, if you write the kind of stories that excite you, that make you want to sit down at your keyboard and get lost in a land of imagination, if you write the stories that make you happy, you'll make your readers happy.
If you write the stories you're passionate about, that passion will spill onto the page, will infuse your words, your ideas. It will transform your characters into living, breathing people. It will make your fictional words come alive.
What Is Important To You?
This is the most important question of all: What is important to you?
Find out and write about it. Write the stories you love to read.
Fine your niche. Be the favorite author of a very narrow segment of the population.
The key to success: Don't write anything except what you want to write.
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Photo credit: "Poetic" by seyed mostafa zamani under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.