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!
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.
No wiser words.
I was reading a blog post recently from someone else who said she'd hit a wall. Not that she couldn't write, but rather what she wrote gave her no joy.
When that happens it's time to switch gears.
Cortney I find that too. I have to at least be interested in what I'm writing.
I find that when I force myself to write for any reason other than I really want to do it for ME, it doesn't flow as well. It's when I'm in the moment and loving it that my writing is the best. Thanks for the post! And I wanted to add, I love the comparison of your writing to the amloki (sp). I've never heard of that particular type of fruit before, but it's a great comparison!
So true Eric. I didn't want to mention it because I thought it would scare new writers, but I draft for myself and revise/edit for the market.
And yes, I've read through my WiP four times already and there's only one rewrite and one round of revisions done… 🙂
Laura I can agree. Especially when it's big name writers who have to write because of their contracts. I suspect that most new writers who don't write from the heart end up without deals, because agents can pick up on it too…
I always say this: Write first for yourself. Write again for others.
That again part is revision.
You mention you should enjoy reading your own work. Lord, that is key to success. Remember that for every book you write, you will read it front-to-back, very carefully, about ten times before it hits the shelf. I have a couple on my shelf I never want to see again and I'll let them die with me.
So if you don't enjoy that read, you'll never get finished!
"Find what makes you comfortable. Find what makes you excited to write." Well said, Misha!
I always maintain that readers can tell when an author's heart wasn't in it, that she or he wrote the book just because it was trendy. Those are the trendy novels that don't make it to the top. You're so right that you must love what you're writing. Not only will you be able to stick it through allll the revisions, but your readers will appreciate it too!
Wonderful post Misha! 🙂
Giles, I think that unless you have a super-fast writing ability, writing for the current market just isn't possible. Because by the time you're done with your shiny vampire book (for example) everyone else will be sick of it. Of course, if you wrote it because you loved your story idea, then it was worth it even if it doesn't get published. But, that doesn't mean that you can't rewrite, revise or edit with the market firmly in mind… I just wouldn't draft like that.
Hi Jen! So true, we technically have to live the ideas we write. I know from personal experience that it's never far, no matter what I do. Why put up with something you don't care for?
Aw thanks Anthony!
Marlena so true. I think there are few books that don't have value for at least one person. But as much as I enjoy the thought of publishing, I enjoy writing for the hell of it more… ^_^
Knight, I know what you mean, forcing yourself to do things that you don't enjoy is a tremendous drain on creativity. But, if channeled right, it can also trigger it, as your starved muse grabs for anything possible to do…
Thanks for having me, Damyanti!
Shack, just remember that that loss of ambition can happen any time. During the past four years when I was drafting Doorways, I almost quit writing altogether towards the end of the rewrite, because the flame just went out. Fortunately I kept plugging away until something sparked me again.
J.C. I agree. Every block buster book has a slew of sheep trying to emulate it. I like creating my own trends. 😉
Thanks, Damyanti, for featuring Misha! Great post! So true that you should write what REALLY gets you going, and to not just hop on the latest trend wagon. Remember all those lacklustre conspiracy-theory thrillers that came churning out in the wake of THE DA VINCI CODE? Me neither, and for good reason. (THE MICHALENGELO MYSTERY or THE RAPHAEL RIDDLE, anyone?)
I've just finished my Shiny New Idea. It just so happens to be pretty topical too, so we shall see if the last 18 months has been worth it…
I understood this fact halfway through my first WIP where there was more ambition than anything else. It was disheartening at first to let it slip away, but I knew it was for the best.
Now, two years after that traumatic state I'm a happy writer now,moving forward everyday.
Thanks Misha, for the post, and everyone else for coming to support and encourage her! 🙂
Such great advice! I had my first taste of writing for someone else when I fiddled around with freelance this year. I've learned that I absolutely abhor writing non-fiction, and after I write that, I really have no desire to write anything else because I'm exhausted!
Thank you for the encouragement, Misha!
So true, Misha! I always write for myself because I figure that if I want to read it, there's at least someone else who'll want to read it too. And if I can connect to it, same thing applies. It's when you try to please everyone that things fall apart.
Misha, you are an inspiration to writers everywhere, Thank You for this brilliant succinct post.
Great post, Misha!
It's so easy to try and follow trends with the hope that THIS idea or THAT best seller topic will be the one to launch YOU into stardom too. But the truth is, can you live with what you're writing? Because, when you write a novel, you live with it. Day in, day out. Eating, sleeping, walking, whatever your novel is there. And if you aren't passionate about it, you're going to be miserable until you finish and lock it away, or quit.
Thanks for sharing!
Damyanti, what a beautiful blog you have here! Thanks for hosting Misha 🙂
I agree. I also think it's important to nail down whether your story DOES fit, though. Writing for yourself is VERY important, but if you want it to get published, it does have to have a market.
But you're also right: you can't write for the market because the market will constantly change :D.
Same here, Loree. Thanks for the follow. 🙂 I agree with you about the work calling. Once my writing stops calling me, I start worrying about it…
Aw thanks Myne!
I love and follow Misha's blog, and this post is one of her usual true and helpful articles.
Thanks for sharing.
Nice meeting you, Misha.
I believe that you must write for yourself as much as you write for others. It's calling…
Also, a thank you to our lovely hostess…
Aw thanks Mike! I wouldn't be able to do it if I didn't meet awesome people like you. 🙂
Thanks Mary! I definitely know what you mean about the revisions. I would have given up on Doorways if I didn't love it. Especially the drafting… Revisions are easy in comparison.
Talei and that love will hopefully carry you through the edits as well. Good luck with the SNI!
L.G. So true, because finishing the draft isn't anywhere the end of the road for you and your WiP. There are revisions, queries, edits and (we hope) publishing and marketing the book as well…
Totally agree you have to write for yourself first. You have to have passion to get through to the other side and finish a novel.
I think writing what about something you love is always a good start. The endings are difficult, for me I'm editing 120k novel and its hard work. I will get there though. Its my shiny idea which I've not given up on. Yet. 😉
Misha is fab. 🙂
It's so true. Writing a novel is hard work and to get through all the revisions and all it takes to get it to 'finished', you have to love it.
Writing is hard work. But you are an inspiration with both your blog and your guest posts. Keep it up Misha.