Ah, appealing to the masses. It's quite a tricky thing to do. There are so many people with so little time to read, yet writers are challenged with creating something that will make a busy person stop and relax with a good book. Like the title says, writing is hard.
One thing that has always been difficult for me is rejection of my work. I will say that it's all subjective and that it's part of the industry, but it stinks. You create something, work on it for a couple hundred hours, wade through the various sites for just the right agent/publisher and then create a query letter, a synopsis, and a submission. Then you wait for months only to get a form letter of rejection. I've literally have gotten hundreds of rejections. Hundreds. I've gotten ten acceptance letters. That's somewhere around 30 to 1. It's a tough business, and not for the faint of heart.
It's been suggested to just write what sells, something with vampires, or steamy romance novels that have guys with no shirts on the cover. Admittedly, those do sell well, but that's in my wheelhouse. The thing is, I actually like to write weird, quirky stuff about a girl made of glass, or demonic possession of a housewife, or an obscure creature from native American folklore. I also like to write, deep, thought provoking pieces that make you think about the world that we share, but mostly the previous stuff.
For me, the world has gotten too big for it's britches. I'm in several online writer groups where people sit around talking about stuff like the Oxford comma, the HANS manual of editing, the "rules of writing" and so on. It's incredibly boring. Truly, it is. It's something akin to waiting for a friend at the airport. You really don't want to be there, but you know you should.
A good freight, some psychological suspense, or something just plain odd shakes the dust from our lives. It gives us a chance for our minds to wander. Maybe when you get back to reality, you're a little more appreciative of things we consider boring. Maybe it's just me. Perhaps that's why I never did well in the creative writing classes I used to take in high school.
I know about all of that stuff the stiff necked writers love to talk about, and usually I choose to ignore it. It's my story and I tell it the way I want. That's one of the perks of making stuff up. To be honest, I see myself as a regular person with a gift of storytelling, and I want to appeal to the other regular people who don't get caught up in trivialities and argue about whether the ampersand is a legitimate punctuation. Getting lost in a story can be cathartic.
I may never reach the lofty heights of some of the writers that I grew up reading, and there's nothing I can do about that. I may never be a household name, or win any awards. I may never be a New York Times bestseller. But then again, I may. I don't know. All I can do is take the words that are bouncing around in my head, arrange them into coherent sentences as best I can, have them professionally edited, create the best cover, and put them out there. The rest is up to you.
Sometimes, not doing what everyone else is doing is a good thing. Sometimes it's not. Either way, I've decided that I'm going to do me and hope that y'all enjoy it enough to drop a few bucks, tell a friend, and maybe leave a review. In the end, that's really all any writer can do.
Thank you all,