Having made the decision to self-publish, I’ve benefitted in several ways. I have the freedom to write what I choose, which hasn’t been an easy decision in itself.
I decided to treat my writing as a business more than a year ago and tested the waters with a collection of stories that medalled in competition. After that, I wrote the story on my heart (a women’s fiction novel), as well as the sequel and still have not completed the third story in that line. It wasn’t the wisest of thing to do, since persons have been asking when that story will be out. Should I mention that the deadline I set myself has passed?
I’m trying to ignore the whispers that say I’m bad for business.
The first book I wrote was Christine’s Odyssey (a middle-grade novel), which came before I had a real handle on my craft. The other middle-grade novel came after I’d branched off and written an action/adventure/romance novel that was closer to what I wanted to write. Both middle-grade books are a thousand percent better now than when I wrote them. I paid for that mistake with bronze medals because of my skill level at the time. Still, I’m grateful that the judges in the competition recognized that the books contained the seeds of something meaningful.
After those books, I received three publishing contracts in a short time. These books were romantic suspense (2) and women’s fiction (1). Time flies quickly, so in short order, I’ll be making decisions on that set of books when I have the rights back.
Now that I’ve put out the fire I felt to get through the MG novels—which by the way were written in 2004 & 2005—I can get back to business. As I write this, the third book in the series is at the smouldering stage. The embers are there, but I don’t have an urgent need to write. I know that MG novels are not the easiest to market and most don’t do well, but the stories I mentioned were the ones I needed to share with the world.
My focus now is on a romance novel and it feels like I should have been back here a long time ago, however, as I said, the MG books were calling. Taking the business angle into consideration, I should have been working on what will sell and I know that is romance.
However, because of the fact that I have a 9-5 and I love writing on my own terms, I have the luxury of choosing which projects I write this minute. If I didn’t have a job and was writing full-time, I’d probably make better business decisions—that is, I’d write what sells.
As time goes on, I’ll try to strike a better balance between writing what sells and catering to the stories that demand to be told. I’ve started down that road by making preparing a loose production schedule. I’m going to try to stick as closely to that as I can—seeing as how I’ve had it for a while— while doing my best not to stifle my creativity.
How do you approach your writing? Do you stick to what you think will sell, come hell or high water or do you get pulled off the highway to write what your heart tells you to?
Oh, and I’m hat in hand asking for tweets. See the button below for your tweeting pleasure. And see my cool bit of word art underneath this? Yup, gotta do something to help my latest baby along. I’m sure you agree. All tweets appreciated! You can see what’s been said about my latest child on Amazon.