Writing 101: Are You Writing for You?

Be honest: how often do you look at the Amazon bestseller list? How many times have you wished you were the one who wrote The Hunger Games? It's not a problem...unless you let it dictate what you're going to write next.

Being Popular

Everybody wants to be popular in whatever situation they happen to be in. You want to a lot of friends at school, at work, on Facebook...popularity contests pretty much never end. For authors, they're a way of living. If you're a self-published author, it's a full-time job. You have to work to gain readers, you need to hustle to sell books and you've got to constantly promote. 

And while you're working your typing fingers to the bone, another Stephenie Meyer or Susanne Collins is cranking out an uber-successful series that absolutely everyone is talking about. It's only natural for thoughts to begin to creep into your head. It's only natural to start thinking that maybe you ought to alter your own writing style. Adapt it a little. Make it a little bit more like a Stephenie Meyer...or a Susanne Collins.

No! Do not do this. It seems like a primrose path to surefire literary success, but it's actually a trap. Once you start trying to write like someone else and attempt to make your material more palatable to a mass audience, you're no longer writing like you. 

Are you writing for you? Ask yourself this question when you're writing your books and envisioning your plots. As long as the answer is yes, you're in good shape. Keep on writing like you and writing exactly what you want to write. That authenticity will show through in the page; readers will pick up on the fact that you're being true to yourself and to your talents. When you try to write for someone else, or like someone else, you aren't being authentic...and it's going to show in your writing. So write for you, and eventually the world will follow.

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  1. I have never tried to copy a successful book. I tend to go in the direct opposite to what's being published. I want to be completely original.