IWSG - August: Originality or Reader Pleasing?

It’s that time again, to gather together as writers and blog about our insecurities. 

The following post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly blogging event created by author Alex J Cavanaugh. Alex's awesome co-hosts for this month are: Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery! Be sure to visit each cohost and Alex. Visit the IWSG website for a list of other bloggers participating. The optional question this month is, 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?

May I say both? First, I needed to ask myself, why do I bother to write at all since I’ve not published much in years? 

I enjoy writing! I also write to empty my brain of stories. Writing is a drain cleaner to my brain. If I didn’t write, there would be a clogged drain of backed up stories. Writing provides a way to dump the stories that play in my brain and clears it so that my mind is free to create again, and it will…create another story. 

Now to answer the question. I enjoy writing original stories something you might not consider or that will surprise you. My wild imagination chants, "Write that crazy stuff." However, I also write with readers in mind. I want them to fall in love with me—in a writerly way. I want my stories to touch their (own) imagination and play with their emotions, but would also like for the reader to consider other options, not just happy ever after endings as the only way. 

As a reader, have you read a story where the characters and/or setting stay with you? As a writer, do you think it’s either-or (write for the reader or write for yourself) or do you do both? 

Write on!



Natalie Aguirre said…
No, I don't think it's either or in terms of writing original stories or for readers. I write because I enjoy writing too. Getting published isn't really the focus for me.
I think it's a balance. I don't do crazy well though.
Mary Aalgaard said…
Yes. Both. Although, I feel like it has to start with me, what I'm imagining. Then, write it in a way that the readers can understand and relate to. Our first exercise at the wrting retreat was to answer the question: Why do I write? It was a great way to start!
Hi Teresa - yes both ... I couldn't write crazy ... cheers Hilary
I love "Writing is a drain cleaner to my brain," Teresa. And I love the photo of Millie. Great post about the balance of what or how to write. All best to you!
Jennifer Lane said…
Thank goodness for writing to clear the mind and dump out our thoughts and feelings onto paper! Write on, Journaling Woman.
J.Q. Rose said…
Brain drain...love that writing clears your brain to make room for more creativity. I never thought of it that way. Sounds like you love writing!! Write on!
Jemi Fraser said…
Love the analogy of the brain cleaner. - so true!
I definitely do both - I wouldn't write if I didn't love it, but I like to have an eye on the prospective audience at the same time!
Hi Teresa!
I'm in a similar situation to you, in that I haven't published much.
I don't even have a book... yet.
But I enjoy writing, especially short fiction, which energizes me.
I write what I enjoy writing and hopefully, the readers will like it too!

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