On Tuesday, if you’re much of a Twitter user, you might have seen #mswl, a hashtag designed to let agents and editors talk about their manuscript wishlist. Some of the requests were really specific with characters and plots or with comparisons to existing projects in the same vein.
It was fascinating for me.
It was likely some combination of inspiring and maddening and depressing for others, especially authors who are trying to crack the code of the ever fickle publishing industry, and who are subjected to a random, often conflicting, set of “rules” about what to do, what to write, how to proceed, all while reading articles bemoaning the death of the book and reading.
Theory is great and all, but...
Look, you’re writing because you have something you want to say. You want people to hear you. Suppressing your voice to chase trends is like spending your whole life wanting to play music and then ending up in a cover band that plays weddings. Sure, you didn’t mind “Living on a Prayer” when you were in seventh grade, and you can kinda fake enthusiasm for it when the bride and groom are drunkenly singing along with you, because you know they’re excited about it, but when you pack up the guitar at the end of the night, are you?
I’m not going to be one of those assholes who tells you how to live your life. This isn’t a Twisted Sister video. But I want to pat you on the back and encourage you to write the book that’s in your gut, regardless of what the market says is hot right now. And if you’re inspired to write what’s hot right now, good for you. That’s not a bad thing.For more about publishing and life, visit www.benjaminleroy.com