I believe that writing your truth in your stories, poetry, and nonfiction is very important. This is a topic I have posted about before, here. I really loved this recent post at Writer Unboxed, because I feel that author, Amish Tripathi, wrote his truth. He took the ancient tales of Lord Shiva from India and made beautiful fictions out of them, and eventually found faith in Lord Shiva, even though he had been an atheist.
I think this point is interesting that he discovered faith. Some people are reluctant to write about their truths when it concerns a controversial topic such as religion. Amish Tripath dared to go there; his Shiva trilogy is also daring because his premise, that Shiva was a man who became seen as a god, might offend those who worship Shiva. Regardless of the fact that religion might turn people off, and it’s a sensitive topic for those who do partake of it, Tripathi wrote his truth. He took the bold choice to write what spoke to him, and care more about how and why it spoke to him, then what others might think.
This isn’t to say that one shouldn’t think about one’s readers. Obviously, that’s a must! Tripathi himself did a huge campaign in order to self-publish his book, and his marketing was very successful, showing that readers felt he cares. His marketing was so successful that he was even picked up by a traditional publisher eventually (a method that , who interviewed Tripathi for the Writer Unboxed article, points out could use some spotlight – using self-publishing and indie markets to get the attention of traditional publishers).
Anyway, I just wanted to highlight the theme that one should write what speaks to one instead of catering to the masses to get the big bucks. Because while big bucks might help pay the bills, writing what is from the heart will satisfy you more – and, as many writers have pointed out, what satisfies you satisfies readers; they can feel your mood in your writing. Big bucks books are popular in airports, on beaches, etc., but I think the ones that people take home, the books that really make a difference in readers’ lives, are the ones that the writers wrote from the heart, without the ulterior motive of big bucks.
(This, of course, sparks a separate conversation – aren’t the writers of commercial fiction that makes big bucks also writing from the heart? How else would their books be so popular? What about the writers of trashy romance novels, are they writing with heart? What about J.K. Rowling, who wrote from her heart but earned big bucks? That’s a big topic though, so I’m saving it for a different post).
Without further ado, here is the interview with Amish Tripathi about his Shiva trilogy:
Over and out,