Readers, what do you want?
In the words of the Spice Girls (which dates me, no doubt) tell me what you want; what you really, really want?
And all too often, there's a rejection.
Which, try as we might, we do take personally. Who could help but do so, after all we've given up – time with family, lazy days in the sun, movies and tv, reading other writers' books, dinner dates and trips out – in order to write those words that are so unappreciated.
And the worst of it is that those editors, publishers and agents that we rely on so heavily for a yeah or a nay, these people are only human. Stories are subjective – I might love a particular writer's work, someone else might hate it or worse, be indifferent.
Stephen King, my hero, was told his work was 'not commercial'. That not commercial writer has sold millions of books, and his work has been made into television shows and movies.
Somewhere, out there in the Great Unknown, are editors or editorial assistants or publishers' purchasing committees who are crying into their beer for turning down the next great thing. At least I hope so.
So it seems these days that it is the readers who have the final say; the readers who spread the word about King and Rowling and many other bestsellers – once a publisher decided to take a chance on an unknown writer.
You see, readers know what they want.
There's a story about George Sands that says she began to write because she couldn’t find a book that interested her. The same is said of Louisa May Alcott, author of my girlhood favourite, Little Women and the sequel, Good Wives. But just like Rowling, they kept right on writing. The readers found them, and the rest is history.
So, readers, what do you want? What stories light up your lives, or leave you afraid to go into the dark basement alone? What inspires you? Makes you laugh, makes you weep? Lifts your mood and makes you feel better when your world is in chaos? A Love that makes your toes curl? What, in fact, would you say are the ingredients of that Next Great Thing? Or even a book that you'd love to read?
The Internet is full or how-to advice for writers. I'm as guilty as any other blogger or article writer; I teach creative writing to would-be writers. I'm glad to say that quite a few have gone on to be published.
The real question can only be answered by you, Dear Reader: What do you want?
Right about now you may be wondering what this has to do with the current theme of this blog: Organization. The answer, of course, is absolutely nothing.
I always wanted to be a rebel!
Glenys O'Connell is the author of several mystery & romance novels with good reader reviews; her long-awaited (in her dreams) book based on her creative writing course: Naked Writing: The No Frills Way to Write Your Book, will soon be published. Her 'brand' is Romance Can Be Murder, which tells you a lot about her.... Learn more here.