Misha Gericke has been a blog-friend for a while now, an assiduous writer and a loyal commenter! When we decided she would do a guest-post for Amlokiblogs, she had a brainwave about the topic: Write for Yourself. I loved it—I write for myself first and anyone else later, and I was happy to host an article that re-affirmed my belief!
So take it away Misha!
Hi all! I just want to thank Damyanti for having me at her lovely blog. Hopefully you’ll enjoy what I have to say.
My best friend recently caught the writing bug from me. You know the one. Not the one where you think it’s fun to write.
The one where you really want to finish a story.
That sickness starts a completely different sort of torture. Because not only do you have to write stories and characters, but you have to commit to them. For months. Weeks. Years.
As long as it takes to write The End.
Let me tell you one thing. NOTHING prepares you for writing a novel. Even if you’ve written short stories and poetry. That jump from 5-10k to 60-100k words is a massive one. Even if you churn out 60-100k worth of word in short stories. Because you have to stick to ONE story. ONE set of characters.
And that is why writing for yourself is vital.
I have heard of writers who insist that keeping an eye on what sells is the secret to getting agents and publishers.
That’s all good and well, but actually having a finished book to sell is more important. And writing what sells might mean that you’re not necessarily writing what you love.
Trust me on this. That. Sucks. Epically.
And it pretty much dooms you to fail before you even start. That 60-100k commitment means that if you want at least a small chance at finishing a book; write something that you’d enjoy reading. With characters that intrigue you.
At least for the beginning, you must be at a stage where you can’t wait to get to your story.
Find what makes you comfortable. Find what makes you excited to write.
Because that’s what will carry you through the hard times later on. Because when those times come where you’ll think about giving up, you’ll want to love your characters enough to not give up on them. You’ll cling on to the story until the storm passes and you find your love again.
So don’t hurt your writing from the beginning by chasing fashions. Go for what you love.
Have you ever tried to write a novel with an idea that didn’t really make your heart beat faster? What happened to the idea? Any new writers out there, still working on your Shiny New Idea?
Misha is a writer with aspirations to be published one day. She is currently revising her complete novel, a YA epic fantasy named Doorways with the hope of completing edits by December. To see how she’s doing, check out her blog at http://sylmion.blogspot.com. Twitter: @MishaMFB
This coming Friday, stop by to meet author S.B. Stewart-Laing, and ask her questions about her book, Forgotten Gods.
Misha is a participant in the Rule of Three Blogfest, a month-long shared-world fiction extravaganza starting 5th October— with some great prizes, and of course, a lot of exposure and constructive feedback for your writing. This is one Blogfest fiction authors ought not to miss. Go ahead and join Misha!