Internal vs External Motivation

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  • mad jack
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Internal vs External Motivation
« on: June 29, 2016, 03:12:25 AM »
This isn't really a new debate for me, but recently it has reared its ugly head again...

The debate between writing what interests me most and writing what I think stands the best chance of being successful.

Does anyone else waffle between these? For me, it's... waffling between writing purely for enjoyment and actually wanting to leave my mark on the world. Some days it's more important to me than others.

My favorite author put aside what he really wanted to write in order to write less complex things first, to get his foot in the door, and it paid off well for him. Things like that make me lean toward writing something more basic/trendy. That, and the fact that I could probably use the practice, rather than diving into these complex projects I can barely get my head around.

On the other hand, I do enjoy the challenge.

What are your feelings on the matter?


briari hallow

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Re: Internal vs External Motivation
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2016, 08:04:32 AM »
I waiver between this all of the time, because getting a foot in is so hard.

Overall, though, I always go back to writing what I enjoy and want to write. That doesn't mean I don't want to write something that may cater to others - for instance, the Paranormal anthology I'm working on is purely so I can test out self-publishing and maybe get a small following, build up a readership, but ultimately it's something I really enjoy working on and believe is something I want my name attached to. But the primary reason behind it being paranormal is because paranormal/supernatural is rather popular and has a generally larger reader-base.

It's definitely a hard gamble, though, because sometimes I've gotten stuck in "Well this is my book, so it should be how I want it, not the way people say it should be," which is true to an extent, but not entirely. Because I've finally stopped being so stubborn, I've changed the opening to my book (to what you see in the library), getting rid of an info-dumpy prologue that for years I thought was necessary for people to understand the book. It turns out I was wrong - I actually think the new opening does a better job of hooking people, and the information being fed more organically later on is so much more seamless. know. It's a balance.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 08:07:21 AM by briari hallow »



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Re: Internal vs External Motivation
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2016, 08:36:01 AM »
I was specifically motivated to move forward with Satyr Wars because I thought a Star Wars/epic fantasy parody would be a heck of a lot more appealing to readers than some random book with some random name that means nothing to them. So far my theory hasn't proved true, however, as I've sold significantly less copies of it than my stand alone novella, despite much more promotions going into the launch, but to be fair that one is only a dollar. We'll see if it picks up after I have one trilogy out. In any case, I still think it'll be overall a good start for my brand, but I didn't just write something I thought would be appealing- I made it something I cared about too. They're fun for me to write and explore, and part of the plot was transferred from an unrelated idea I had to begin with that I then decided could be used as the "Anakin" storyline, so I still would have written it even if I hadn't been trying to be appealing, it just would have probably been a lot more serious and a lot less magical. Honestly, this version's more fun anyway :)