Belief Can Cause Interesting Results… Sometimes Wrong…

Another post in this loose series of posts about how writers have artistic freedom in this modern world. And about the choices artists make with that freedom.

I have noticed an interesting pattern over the last four or five years about belief and the choices writers make because of a belief. And I am not talking some religious or political belief. Nope.

But I am talking about belief based on little-to-no information or facts.

And decisions based on myths that appear true to the observer, thus making the observer believe them.

Now I have done a number of books beating on some of the major beliefs writers have. I call those beliefs “Sacred Cows” and there are a bunch of them. And I am about to start thinking that this belief that a writer knows what will sell is another sacred cow.

A new one and a big one and a deadly one, sadly.

But I covered that in a few of the posts in this series and got some great comments from writers on both sides.

So on this short post, I want to just point out a narrow focus on the same topic.

Belief: If I write a certain type (name it) of fiction, I will make more money.

Proof: I am making money. So my choice to write a certain type of fiction must  have been valid.

Uhh… no… Maybe… not necessarily…

Your belief is blind and not based on facts.

Usually it goes like this… Writer writers a novel or story or two or three in one area, no sales, thinks about going to another area because they are in a hurry to succeed in a business that takes a decade to learn. So writer writes a few stories, gets some sales in a write-for-money area.

So proof, right? One area sells, one doesn’t?


Let me give you just one of the most glaring reasons you could be wrong. Your first stories sucked. Your covers sucked. Your blurbs were passive and dull.

Your newer work in a “sales area” has a better cover, sales copy, or blurb that readers will put up with. And you are a better writer after some practice.

LET ME SUGGEST that maybe, just maybe, if you went back and took the skills from your writing-to-market area and applied them to your area of love, you might actually sell there as well, maybe more.

We get better as writers, early on from story-to-story. Our covers get better. (Blurbs will always suck unless you focus on learning how to write sales, another language.)

So say you go back to an area you love, take a chance, write some stories there with good covers, good blurbs, correctly branded, and your more advanced skill of storytelling.  Might they sell more than the others???

You don’t know. Because your belief and fear of not making money is stopping you from even giving it a fair try.

And this is only one area that you could be wrong. Maybe in your write-for-money you have a character readers like, but in your write-for-love you start off with a character no sane person will invite into a house, let alone read about.

There are thousands of reasons some story sells and a thousand reasons why they do not.

If you are thinking you are selling because you simply made a choice to go write in an area for money, you might be wrong. You might be right. You honestly don’t know.

But my guess is there are dozens of other factors involved.

And that your base belief in one cause for your extra sales is wrong.

Just saying.