Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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How do you know what you are meant to write?

Another good Q&A at Janet Reid’s blog

A question offered for perusal:

But does a good writer always KNOW what they are MEANT to write? What if the awards and cash prizes for my sci-fi/horror writing are just a testament to my ABILITY to write well, and not for my true calling for WHAT to write? I LIKE to write sci-fi/horror, but is it possible for another genre, such as humor, to be a better fit – a better fit that if I were to explore it could finally be the break I need (getting an agent, getting a pub deal, etc.) ?? Maybe LIKING a genre isn’t enough to justify writing in it. 

My instant response: you’re not meant to write anything. Write what you want and hopefully that genre will work for you.

Let’s see what Janet says:

I have always believed that the way to know you are fulfilling your purpose here is to measure your joy. If writing in one particular category or genre brings you joy, that’s a good thing.


If you try out something else, and give it a chance, not the one minute “I told you I don’t like lima beans” test, and it too brings you joy, even better.

That seems reasonable to me.

Also, Janet declared everyone needs more perfection in their lives and linked Torville and Dean’s famous ice dancing performance to “Bolero. ” I remember watching that when they first performed it, and she’s right, it’s an example of perfection. If you’ve never seen it, click through and watch the video.

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2 Comments How do you know what you are meant to write?

  1. Elaine T

    My instant response was like yours. I also immediately thought of composers, like Sullivan (of Gilbert &), who thought their serious work was more important and better than their popular work, and seem to have been completely wrong. Georgette Heyer is a writer who falls into that category, too.
    So I’d say, write the stories your Muse hands you as well as you can and keep working.

    how could you tell what you are ‘meant’ to write, anyway?

  2. Mary Catelli

    What is your vocation in writing?

    A lot of fiction writers forget that they sell fiction to entertain and therefore their first duty is to try to entertain.

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