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Rant About Writing to Market

I have a small rant about a message board better left unnamed. Here, writers talk. One subject is writing to market. Those who write to market can't understand why you wouldn't write to market. Their logic goes something like there.

Them: There's no reason not to write to market.
Me: Reason.
Them: That's not a valid reason. There is no reason not to write to market.
Me: Another reason.
Them: That's not a valid reason. There is no reason not to write to market.
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I have a small rant about a message board better left unnamed. Here, writers talk. One subject is writing to market. Those who write to market can't understand why you wouldn't write to market. Their logic goes something like there.

Them: There's no reason not to write to market.
Me: Reason.
Them: That's not a valid reason. There is no reason not to write to market.
Me: Another reason.
Them: That's not a valid reason. There is no reason not to write to market.
<Rinse. Repeat.>

Needless to say, one does not actually get a good discussion on why one would or would not write to market.

Don't get me wrong. I find nothing wrong with writing to market. I think it's a fine way to run a business, but it doesn't constitute the only way to run a writing business. Nor does NOT following the market make me a "special snowflake" where I get to flout the rules that everyone else has to obey.

Being part art and part business, a writer needs to maintain both sides, and that's not the same for every writer. I've tried writing to market only to hit writer's block. Producing nothing earns no money and satisfies no market. Finding that sweet spot for yourself doesn't necessarily match the sweet spot for the market. Your writing speed doesn't necessarily well match the market. To some extent, you can compromise, but only to a point. The downsides include burnout, writer's blocks, shoddy work, and RSI.

My business plan is to write high quality novels for the fantasy market that tell stories outside the hero's tale. There's a vast amount of unexplored space in fantasy, and I want to explore that. By "high quality", I mean writing novels that are comparable in quality to the best writers out there in and out of genre. By "high quality", I mean not writing novels like the novels that piss me off, like when the writer was just fulfilling his contract and wants to get onto the next book. That is, I don't want to write "good enough" novels. I want to write excellent novels.

None of that is finger pointing. Folks who write to market can and do write excellent novels. Folks who write to market are hopefully writing excellent novels to a known marketspace, while I'm writing into an unknown market space. I understand the difference and I'm willing to take the risks. I have the luxury of having a good job that can support a lower-profit business. This writing business is my secondary income (if I can make it profitable.) If I had to pay my bills this way, I'd look to writing to market, too, but to be honest, I fear that I would burn out doing what it takes. I've burned out before.