Wednesday, August 3, 2022

In the August sizzle I answer a question about originality versus catering to one's audience for my Insecure Writer's Support Group post.

Happy August everyone. I hope your July ended with a bang (pun intended--especially in Utah where they sell fireworks through July 24th). In my state, we are presently tied for the hottest year on record. We just need one more 100 degree day to beat the record. This isn't something I'm bragging about. On the contrary, I hate it very much. And scientists keep saying that "this is the coldest year you will experience for the rest of your life." How depressing.

Anyway, it is time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. As I usually say on a monthly basis, this blogfest was originally started by science fiction author Alex Cavanaugh. He's a pretty amazing guy, and he's a great writer (I've read some of his stuff). So you should listen to what he has to say over on his website, which can be found HERE.

And just what (exactly) is the Insecure Writer's Support Group? Allow me to explain. But first, go and visit the official Insecure Writer's Support Group page to see what's up.

The Purpose: To share and encourage. That's it. 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!

When Does Everyone Post?: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. This is when you can post your thoughts on your own blog. You can talk about your doubts, and the fears you have conquered. You can discuss your struggles and triumphs. You can offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Some advice==> You will want to visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - I'd say aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to the IWSG 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.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

The IWSG Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and the hashtag is #IWSG.

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

Now, every month the IWSG announces a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt one to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story.

I nearly always answer the question. So without further ado, let's take a look at what the question is for August 2022.

August 3rd question - 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?

I try to be original, but it hardly ever works. There's just too much out there. So when I think I'm being clever, all it really means is that I'm not as clever as I think I am, and I'm just not well-read enough to know any different. So, one of the things I do is I read lots of books. But no matter how many I read, it will never be enough. But I  (in the least) know that if I think my story is original, it's simply because I haven't read one like it, which is honestly a poor excuse.

As a point of order, I'm going to say that this question is very interesting. It's a trick, you see. Because it assumes that you (as a writer) have already got your audience in a bag somewhere, and that is rarely the case for new writers. Giving people "what they want" generally means that you have people. But how would this sound if you didn't have any people? That's the rub, isn't it? What an interesting turn of phrase.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope that wherever you may live, you are not experiencing the hottest summer on record.


  1. It is a bit of a trap, isn't it? I can write for an audience now, but I couldn't in the beginning.
    Nineties and humid. Oh yeah, it's hot here.

  2. I think the "give people what they want" thing means more that you're writing to the market vs just writing whatever the heck you want. Even if you're a new writer, you can see what's selling on Amazon or B&N or wherever and try to copy those stories, ie chasing the trend. That can work if you write quick enough that you can cash in on it.

    I mentioned on my blog a while back there was a documentary on Hulu about self-published women who after 50 Shades of Grey became a big hit wrote similar books and had a lot of success early on by chasing that trend. So in that case they were giving readers what they want though they did not have "people" at first.

    The problem with that is what readers want changes, sometimes quickly and unexpectedly, and if you aren't able to change with it then your books will flop.

    1. And here's the entry on the documentary I mentioned.

  3. I saw the doc PT mentions. What was fascinating about it (to me) was how some of the women didn't like what they were writing, and seemed to be ashamed of it. It made the money they made feel lesser to them, somehow. Sad.