I've been taking part in the #100blogfest - great fun! 100 blogs written by 100 writers in a month. See the link at the bottom of this blog post to see more.
Integrity; a beautiful word and one that we should all wish to emulate.
You may not hear this today or indeed in the next year, but sooner or later a ‘friend’, an editor or your mother or someone you barely know are going to tell you, “You need to change what you’re writing to appeal to a broader audience.”
You’ll hear it from someone who wants to see you do well, who wants your sales numbers of books to zoom up the charts or who thinks you could be doing better if you were writing work “like that fantasy/vampire/thriller et al writer.” Or, sadly, one who doesn’t respect what you write and wants you to change your style for your own good – according to them of course!
Depending on how much credence you give to this person, you may be tempted to listen.
I would be very careful. Before you change what you’re writing in order to appeal to a broader audience, consider why you may not want to. Ask yourself some questions before you spend a huge amount of time and energy doing something different. All in order to catch those people who don’t like what you do right now.
But I say that writing with integrity will make you as a writer.
If you have a fan base of readers who love what you do, you have a connection.(The Assassins' Village). Your readers are real people who have found things that matter to them with your words, in the way you view the world, in the stories you tell and the characters and situations you create. I have a good solid fan/friend/follower base. Not huge but a good core of some fantastic people.
To thine own self be true, (Shakespeare) - if you have been writing true to yourself, you have connected with people who think the way you do. You’ve found people who understand how the world looks to you, sharing some of your views. This is a rare and wonderful discovery.
If you have no respect for what you’re writing and presenting, yes, walk away. You aren’t writing honestly—you’re pretending to be someone you’re not.
But if your work comes from you, right from the heart, pulling you out of bed in the middle of the night because you’ve thought of that one brilliant line you have to record before you lose it, or you find yourself fighting alongside your heroes/characters as you’re creating them, and desperate to know how their story will move forward, then you are living your work, and you are writing with integrity and creating something that matters.
My earliest fans are up to any challenge, and they are the fans I want to keep, and I want to keep adding new fans to this fan base. My fans are important, they’ve been with me from the very beginning, thick and thin, and I value their criticism and friendship (SBF:Sharing Being Friends) – and integrity too. They’re good and solid and I know they empathise with my characters, always rooting for the underdog and loving the retribution I deal out. (The Assassins' Village).
I want to continue writing complex, mysterious plots and layered, complicated characters, which matter to my readers as much as it matters to me. I want to know my readers will look for the subtle clues I plant and understand the plot without me holding their hands.
I jotted down a description of whom I believe my current readers to be. I took into account their age, interests, other authors they like, type of work (s) he does, and what they like most about the stories I tell. I know my stories appeal to a good cross-section of readers, and I know what common ground I share with each cross-section, and because of that I care deeply about these people together with their likes and dislikes.
I can do the same thing with those readers I want to reach, but don’t. Who are these people? Why am I trying to reach them?
If I’ve identified more people I want to tell different types of stories to that my current group of readers won’t like, then I have to expand and write in both genres.That’s good – I’ve potentially increased and broadened my fan base(s)(Echoes of Life and Love ).
If I’m writing true to myself the people reading me now are going to be the right people for me. They understand me, I matter to them, and they matter to me. We belong to each other. The people who don’t like what I’m doing aren’t good enough for me – not the other way around.
If I have to change to win over people who don’t like me, I’m going to lose parts of myself that matter. I’m going to lose the people who liked what I did because I turned my back on values we shared.
So, don’t change who you are for any reason except that you’ll like yourself better. Changing yourself and your work to please people who don’t like you and what you do is a guaranteed way to make sure your life will never be what you want it to be.
I hope you enjoy this blog post today. I like to write about what I feel is important between me and my friends and fans. Connecting together is really important and I'm sure if you don't like my work - you'll let me know!
My books are doing well despite current world problems - I'm pleased how they're being received. My work in progress is Children of The Plantation and I'm about half-way through it. I can see the golden path I have to take to finish it, but I do like to change the way things run! I'll be posting an excerpt in a few weeks time.
If you'd like to go on my email list, informing you when it's ready before publication, please fill in the comment form. I'm going to let my reader/friends have a copy at a special SBF price. I promise your name will not be divulged to any other person.
Keep safe and thank you everyone who've bought any of my books - I can't do it without you - we're a partnership x
The #100blogfest blogs are all about fun and sharing. Thank you for reading a #100blogfest blog. Please follow this link to find the next blog in the series: http://martinkingauthor.com/blog/7094550076& SBF