For Supposed Crimes Day 15 of 30-day Challenge: What are you passionate about?
I recently read something about the difference between passion and drive. Passion is a passing fashion, something you like and even something that you like that connects you with others who like that too. Drive is taking a passion and using it to create a goal.
Only some passions are strong enough, detailed enough, to become goals. They have to be with you for years, through thick and thin, they’re partners in developing your creative mind. This, in my opinion, is why I dislike “writing to market.”
My passion is to never produce something solely because it’s the trendy thing or what readers expect. I am passionate about being my own voice and writing what I want to read.~ me
Markets have trends, fashions, fancies, things that are “in” and then “out” in days or weeks, at most a few months. Trends last as long as a number one hit single, rising for a time, and then falling completely out of favor. Or clothing styles: “Ugh. That is so last year,” sneers a teen at a new kid on campus. (As a teacher I have heard this more times than I can count.)
What’s the defense against that kind of belittling or being a “flash in the pan”?
The answer: belief in yourself. In the case of clothes or a music preference, belief that your passion is right for you. It’s right if it makes you happy, content, comfortable.
That self-belief goes for being creative too. Even if you want to sell. Especially if you want to sell.
There is nothing that turns me off faster than a gut feeling that a writer wasn’t writing their passion, but rather writing to meet a trend. You know that sense. The writing feels flat, the characters two dimensional tropes, the plot hits all the beats — of something else. But it doesn’t have he same energy, the same originality as the author’s first book. The one they slogged on for years, nursed, shared in baby steps, because it was a passion project. This reeks like a decomposing body. The author’s passion was crushed and turned moldy.
I wrote We Three, an erotic poly story, because that was what I passionately wanted to write two years ago. After I’d put together the manuscript, edited it and edited again. I worked toward publication.
The erotica publishers who handled menage said it wasn’t erotic enough for their lines — too much romance. I wasn’t going to change that; I knew there was a market for erotic romance, a mix of genres. Even if menage wasn’t typically considered a staple of romance, the story I had written was unquestionably a romance. A few other polyamory-centered stories I’d read had been self-published. I wasn’t keen on that lonely route; I may be an introvert, but I like being able to say I have like-minded writers as friends. A publisher has a social network that would connect me to others.
There was reticence that the readers of my previous lesfic books wouldn’t want to read about an FFM threesome so I’d have little to no carry-over audience. So they suggested a pen name and build a new author platform. But this was my story, even if it was fiction, and I wanted to claim it.
So I did. And I convinced the publisher to take the risk with me. The genuine depths of myself I put into the book paid off. I got this lovely review almost immediately:
“Awesome… really touched home… The relationship that grows between the three of them is so awesome and the sex: bow chica bow wow”Natalie W., Goodreads
And this one followed after:
“multiple times I found myself looking around to see if anyone might notice the flush in my neck and cheeks.”By the Bi podcast
Do I have detractors? Yeah. But by sticking to my passion for what I wanted to express, my book does find the readers who enjoy it and who “get” it, and by extension, get me. That is worth so much more than money.