Who I write for… Now that I’ve covered the what, when, where, how, and why of my writing process, I’m left to tackle the final installment. Who do I write for? Any writer is a liar if their foremost answer to that question is not as follows: I write for myself. Plain and simple. Yet, a writer’s narcissism is fed by the desire to share their perspective with others. We dream of recognition. We dream of making it big. Dreams also change a lot over the years. Even though I started this as an author blog, it morphed into an editing blog to support my freelancing efforts. Now that I’m FINALLY getting my writing act together, I’ve added an update at the end of this post.
Who I Write For
As I continue my year-long journey to regain lost footing on my writing dreams, I must rephrase the question: What audience can my work best be marketed toward? After all I am the product of numerous college writing workshops. Which, of course, means that I’d like to think that I write literary fiction and nonfiction. So imagine my horror and surprise that my work in progress, Lost Girl Road, is turning into a ghost story. A paranormal mystery! Am I that lame?
You’d have to be living under a rock to not be influenced by today’s vampires, werewolves, and oodles of other fantastical creatures. But so much of what’s out there is fluff. Not literature. I like my vampires and werewolves to be old school. And ghosts? I honestly do not know what a ghost should or should not be, or what a ghost can or cannot do. (Guess it’s time for some research!) The idea for my book came to me over a decade ago. At the time, I kept seeing an image of a little girl wandering on this road in the woods of northwest Montana. It wasn’t until I started to write the story that she turned into a ghost.
Here and there, I’ve greatly enjoyed books that would fall into the science fiction or fantasy genre. But I don’t actively seek out that type of literature. Yet, due to a few students who took writing classes from me, I’ve grown more appreciative of the allure that such literature can hold. Or at least it holds merit when it’s well-done, when it has depth. Plus, now my husband has me watching Game of Thrones. Alas, and I gotta admit it takes a pretty powerful writer to so intricately create an entire world unto itself.
My writing goes to bipolar extremes. My best efforts have either been extremely dark or sarcastically frank. So at this point, what I’m out to write is a literary paranormal mystery. I guess I’ll have to get on Amazon and check-out the competition.
In the meantime, I’m tweeting away and blogging like there’s no tomorrow. All in the hopes I can find an audience. I standby my decision to self-publish and relish the challenge of learning how to self-promote.
UPDATE: I shelved Lost Girl Road years ago, but I’m gearing up to take another stab at a new draft. A lot had to happen in my life (like going through breast cancer) for me to find my way back to a writing path that best serves me. To that end, I now know that self-publishing is not the most viable path for stand-alone novels with a literary bent. When I finish the novel, I will first seek literary representation. In the meantime, I am submitting pieces for publication have recently appeared in Idaho Magazine with “The Higher You Get” as well as in Cancer Wellness with “Resilient. Period.” I also won first place in the 2018 Idaho Writers Guild essay contest.
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Who I write for is primarily myself. Who do you write for? What writing/blogging journey are you currently on?
Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2012. Updated February 2019.