I was inspired to write this blog by a topic someone posted on the Facebook Pitch Warriors 2016 group. That truly is an intriguing question. Why do we write? Who do we write for?
I WRITE FOR ME.
I became a writer because it made ME happy. Not because it made anyone else happy. The main reason I began to write was because I wanted to CREATE the stories that hadn't been told yet, but they were stories I wanted to SEE. I wanted to build worlds that I thought were mind-blowing, amazing, and devastatingly beautiful. And if other readers happen to think so, then I've really accomplished something above and beyond my dreams!
Some people say they want to write to make others happy. That's perfectly fine. But let's not forget that the act of reading itself is 100% subjective. There are no guarantees that anyone besides yourself will like anything you write. What I'm trying to say, is that in order to make writing a sustainable activity, fundamentally you must do it for a selfish reason. The writing MUST fulfill YOU, and make YOU happy first and foremost. If you betray your visions and start writing things that other people want but you aren't sold on, you'll get burned out and disillusioned. I understand that to a degree you will have to cater to the market to sell books, but you still need to write what makes you happy. If you're a YA fantasy writer, but you know that Contemporary Adult Mystery Thrillers are popular, that doesn't mean you should abandon your original love to try to break into that market.
Here's the magical thing about writing to make yourself happy: if you write long enough, take your craft seriously, hone it, dedicate yourself to it, and still love it with all your heart, pretty soon, others will start to love it too.