Writing for others involves putting yourself in the place of your audience – all of them – while you are telling a story. This includes the ones who are really with you and the ones who really just kind of got lost. When you are writing for yourself, it is an audience of one. Writing for others, especially with an aim to publish, means making sure that you are varying word use, planning adequately sized sentences, attributing in diverse and interesting ways, and making sure that all of the facts and details line up. It is a lot of work. When you are writing for yourself, you are free.
You really can tell when this is happening, the freedom. Conversations and ideas simply roll from the mind to the keyboard to the screen quickly and easily – no pushing and little effort. I think rappers use the word “flow” to describe how well they are picking those rhymes out of thin air and putting them together. I think that’s something a writer can feel also.
I have to tell you that while I enjoy writing novels for the consumption of others, some of the most valuable writing to me is the things I do only for myself. Writing for others is about producing a product. Writing for yourself is about enjoying an experience. I find myself looking for ways to balance the two dimensions of writing. I feel like I am doing myself a favor when I am able to accomplish that. I also think I’m probably doing a good turn by my audience also.
So, minus that little bit of insight, a couple of details and status items. First, we just finished the major convention I attend every year (and in point of fact I work it, also, in the Dealer’s Den and Artist Alley). I’ve given up trying to sell books or really present them in any way because it’s very difficult to get notice unless one buys the table, the banners, sits there and “sells sells sells!” Not my desire. That is a job.
What I can get behind is supporting the community of independent content producers in that forum – helping them be successful. That, to be honest, has a lot of rewards for me on a personal level, and I think that it is a great opportunity to have.
Second, I am several chapters into Destiny’s Shepherds, which is a story arc that diverges significantly from what I’ve written in the past. It starts with humans and their struggles. The “interesting” individuals show up later. So far, so good! I’m hopefully on-track to have it finished and published early next year, and as it is the first book in a three-part series, I at least have a charted course for a bit.
Thanks and see you in the future!