Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Write What You Love

We've all heard the advice, write what you know.  There's been a lot of debate over this piece of advice.  Some see it as valid direction while others argue that there wouldn't be any books if we just wrote what we know.  For example, how many mystery novels are written by real-life detectives?  And, I guess that advice is null when it comes to fantasy genres, and historical fictional works.  No fairy from Neverland wrote a book, and no one from over a hundred years ago can write a book currently.  But, this doesn't mean that we can get sloppy, in fact more work is involved, and this is why writing what we love supersedes all, in my opinion.  How else would we get motivated, and stay motivated to see a novel through to the end?

In fact isn't it love for what we’re writing what pushes us through to the conclusion even when we may find the interest in our book weaning, or through the rough middles?  Isn't it the love for what we're writing that forces us to get our facts right?  It's been touched on many times, on this bog and other sites, but if you fail to put the time in to ensure accuracy, you risk losing your reader for life.  This involves research, sometimes hours, sometimes days.  But if you didn't love what you were writing, why would you bother?

I understand the concept of self-discipline, of pushing yourself to write when you're tempted to make excuses not to.  But, I need to love what I'm writing.  I need to see and feel the characters.  They have to draw me in to tell their story.

What about you?  How do you work?  Do you agree that love of what you're writing is key?