At some point in your writing journey, you are going to ask yourself this question: ‘Should my next book be what I want to write, or should it be something readers want, something touching on current events and thought?’
That is a very important writerly question!
Having spent years writing what I am passionate about, what interests me, and receiving only middling interest and occasional bursts of sales, I began to realize that the old adage ‘write what you love’ may be archaic.
Perhaps a better one would be, ‘write what people are passionate to read, and try to become passionate about it yourself.’
Of course, there are those lucky few newbies who write what they want and this just happens to be what readers want too. (Those lucky buggers!)
The Write Practice has an eye-opening post about this very thing, here. You might do yourself a favor by checking it out.
Eventually your passion will collide with reader passion, and then you’ll have a winner on your hands. Right now, despite having spent weeks creating extensive outlines on two novels I would love to write, a different idea has struck me, one that is very much up with current events and in a genre that is currently on fire. The best part is that I am feeling the passion monster chomping away at me to write this one.
Another example that helped me realize this point, is the fact that one of my most-viewed posts (consistently earning every month) happens to be one about a very serious current events issue–gun control. No coincidence that.
It’ll happen for you too. Just keep tapping away at those keyboards!
Spending years writing what you are passionate about is still a good practice, as it will increase your writing skills, and make you ready to craft a great piece of writing that people want to read. So even if your early manuscripts end up stuffed inside dusty drawers, they have served a great purpose. They were necessary stepping stones.