Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Happy First Wednesday in August!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG posts. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional!

When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

The best answer to this question for me is that I write a story that either haunts me, intrigues me, or delights me. I'm really telling myself a story, so I'm not focused on whether or not I'm trying to be original, and I hope that if I like the story others will too. 

Is that self-centered? 

Yes, but if I tried to write what I "guessed" others would be interested in reading, but I had no passion for the topic or the characters, I don't think I could write at all. 

This question really asks if we want to be author-centric or audience focused and research the current  market trend so we can churn out what's hot right now. It is pretty common to see copycats come after huge successes. Take something like the Harry Potter series. After those books were bestsellers, hundreds of wizardry tales appeared. Or Twilight. Good heavens! How many vampire books can a bookstore shelve?

There's nothing wrong with jumping onto a winning train and taking advantage of the ride, but for me, all that I said at the beginning of my answer still applies. If I weren't engaged in what I was writing, I'd be a total fail in coming up with anything worth printing let alone reading. Now, if I just happened to love writing what everyone clicking through Amazon was searching for, hey, that would be a win-win.

Just in case you have a hankering to try your hand at giving the readers what they want, I found this book that's a guide, and it's appropriately called Write to Market. In it, the author promises to teach you  “how to analyze the market, and to use that information to write a book that readers want.” 

What's your take on this question? Be sure to check out what the others have to say. There are always interesting answers from our members.


  1. I can't imagine writing a story in a genre I didn't love. I need to write what fills me up as well.

  2. Hi Lee - welcome to August ... so much to talk about, or write about - but I have to be enjoying the subject and the storyline ... even if only for writing blog posts ... cheers Hilary

  3. I'm with Jemi. I know I couldn't write a S/F or a historical novel, or even a strict horror. Though my books can be scary at times. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lee. I think it's amazing that you're so versatile.

  4. If you're not engaged, your readers won't be either.

  5. I think a lot of people agree with all of your answers, but each one I've read so far today have their own unique take.

  6. Besides, write to a trend and by the time the story is done and polished, that trend is over.

  7. I have to love what I'm writing, or at least mostly like it, in the first draft. The revision process is tough for me, but that's when I start to think of the reader more, and that helps me through the hard stuff. I want the reader to enjoy the book so the editing is for them.

  8. I can't imagine writing a story I wasn't excited about either.

  9. I asked myself the self-centered question too, it just didn't make it to the blog post! I'm right there with you. Hopefully if I like it, others will too.

  10. I agree to write with passion for our stories. i'm guessing with your success, you insintively know your readers will love your stories. .

  11. Flapper era cozy mysteries seem to go on and on. Some are better than others. 🤣 I write what I like to read, so hope others who read those kinds of stories will like them, as well.

  12. We're lucky when the story we want tell is also a hot topic/genre. That almost never happens. Who would've thought that wizards would be so popular before J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter? I still think we should write what we love.

  13. I think if you write something you'd like, changes are other people will like that too. I did try once to write a story "for the market," but it didn't go so well for me. Because I didn't love the story.
    Great points!

  14. I was so off in my interpretation of the question. Not once did I think about the market. Some days, my brain cells don't all fire at once.

  15. I really enjoyed your take on the question. Like so many others, I cannot imagine writing a book purely for the market. I have to be stirred by the story myself or it won't go anywhere. It won't even get off the ground. In my case, stories come to me and won't leave me along and I follow . . . It's a great question, though.

  16. I meant to say "won't leave me alone" not "won't leave me along." :-)

  17. Magazine article writers certainly need to aim closer to the market to sell. It really does depend on the goals of the writer.
    “Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”
    ―Anne Herbert
    My IWSG blog post discussed my love of originality. I'm looking forward to the bout of books readathon and WEP's flash fiction later this month.
    Life threw me a curveball with a neighborhood crisis this week, but we got through it.
    Fun fact: August is the only name of a month that's also a popular name among 👶 baby boys.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

  18. I agree with you. We don't want to saturate the market because then we become invisible! But do be true to yourself and write what inspires! If it happens to be a vampire book during a vampire fad, maybe hold onto it a bit longer?

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

  19. I agree! If I'm not engaged in the story or with the characters or both, I won't be able to keep writing!