I subscribe to “Writer’s Digest,” both the print and the online versions. So I am regularly being admonished or exhorted or advised on many things related to writing. At first, I took them seriously. But I’m less inclined now.
Because much of the advice is presented from the reader’s point of view. For instance, an author is told to learn what his or her readers want and then give it to them. They’re told to network on social media and build readership. They’re encouraged to join writing groups too.
I have nothing against any of this advice, except . . .
It seems to put the reader first instead of what some aspiring writer is driven to put on paper. Or at least on a computer file. I mean, are serious writers supposed to cater to readers? Or are they supposed to be true to themselves?
You must know that by now I subscribe to the latter view. Writers need to write about what inspires them and worry about readers later. Even if nobody reads one of my stories, that doesn’t diminish my need to write it.
Which makes me wonder if some of this Internet advice is really about trying to make money on one’s writing. I have nothing against this either. Except, a writer needs to write just as any other human needs to breathe. It isn’t always about the money.