Do you write for yourself or the market?

Jump to Last Post 1-13 of 13 discussions (43 posts)
  1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
    Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years ago

    Hello fellow forum crawlers! I'm new to HubPages and really excited to be here. As an author myself, I love connecting to other writers and finding out what makes us all tick!

    Here's a question that has interested me for a while. When you write, do you do so primarily for yourself or the market? What I mean by that is this: Do you write what truly inspires and interests you even if it's not a popular topic or try to write books/short stories that reflect what the publishing market is seeking out at the time? For instance, there seems to be a heavy push towards vampire romance novels following the Twilight epidemic that's swept the world. Even if you hate vampires and fantasy, would you ever consider writing a novel about that if you feel that's what would sell?


    1. dahoglund profile image74
      dahoglundposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think a writer always has to keep readers in mind. There are different markets to chose from, so one should find a market that matches their won interests. Most of the writers like Dickens, Mark Twain wrote to sell but they were also pleasing  themselves.

      1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
        Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Sounds a lot like me! I think the best authors are those who choose a topic that matches their interests and the market. And if nothing popular in the market catches your fancy, I guess the best thing to do is write about something that interests you and wait for the market to catch on! That way you'll be ready to go when your book is needed and your book will come from your heart and be fantastic. smile

    2. Kathy T profile image60
      Kathy Tposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I would love to say, “I write for myself ”, but as any freelance writer will tell you, we cant always pick the topic we write about. Some days when I look at my assignment lists, it can be over whelming with topics I don’t really enjoy writing about. Some subjects I know really nothing about and I have to spend hours researching and putting together an updated article and the pay is less then minimum wage. When my daily work is done, I can spend time working on my book and articles that I enjoy writing about.

      1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
        Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I know how you feel. In addition to other stuff, I'm also a freelance editor and copywriter and know the topics offered aren't always close (or anywhere within a ten-mile radius) to your heart. I usually look on those as exciting challenges and ways to explore topics I know little about, but it's always more fun to write about something I know and love.

        By the way, I read a little about your book on your profile. How's it coming along? smile

    3. Sullen91 profile image73
      Sullen91posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      You'll soon find that the choice between quality and money is illusory. At best, you might make a couple hundred dollars a month, in a half dozen months. That's chump change, so why pick pennies off the floor with a pair of tweezers? I would much rather sweep dust around and actually see something worthwhile.

    4. dutchman1951 profile image60
      dutchman1951posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It depends Michelle. if you write non fiction, you are targeting a particular audience, a nitch for your writing. If you write fiction, your audience is more open and you write a style, a type of story (comedy, drama, mystery, action etc...)...but in either of the cases you write for money.  you target an audience in your intended story. you write for yourself when you write the heart. It depends on the writers mood,  ideas and frame of mind.

      Looking for money or to just write for enjoyment. both. Those who keep the self in reserve..starve! Those who do not also starve!

      It really depends on your book agent, and how she or he places you in the markets. How good you are, How good a story -line you have. How good the agent is, how many (Good) contacts the agent has, how much industry knowledge, how they use the contacts etc...

      If you do not have one, pick up an agent publication or listing, a Librarian can assist you in locating a good source, and shop the agents listed in the bindings (back pages). Best wishes.

      PS: self publishing on the net (the sites they have) are "all" rip offs, do not use them. and if it is Poetry, do not post the poems anywhere on any site or page, even your own, that you intend to use in your Poetry book, keep them on CD rom, off your main drive. Follow what the Agent tells you to the letter.

      I offer from experiences. Be carefull.

    5. profile image0
      Amie Warrenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Well, right now I'm doing both. I write for the market to make money, and I have a blog where I write for myself.

    6. Vikek profile image60
      Vikekposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I love to write what I believe in and works. I may be tempted once in a while to jump to a topic that is currently trending. Any ideas of how to make more money from writing a a good source of an appreciable income apart from publishing a book?

    7. M. T. Dremer profile image87
      M. T. Dremerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I do both. I've been writing a fantasy novel for over six years now and I consider it to be my best chance of getting published. I haven't altered it in any way to appeal to modern day fiction trends, but I do find myself thinking way too much about my audience. And I've gone out of my way to tone down certain scenes of violence and/or sex to make the book more mainstream.

      Since doing that, however, I've found the need to write for myself growing even more. So I developed an unrelated series of stories that only I would ever see. These would be completely uncensored and involve any crazy idea that popped into my head. Since writing it, I feel like my writing has grown and it will help the novel that was always meant to be published. In the end, I don't know which will be more successful.

    8. notestoforget profile image61
      notestoforgetposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I don't write for the money, but I have to eat sometimes.

  2. wychic profile image83
    wychicposted 12 years ago

    I do a bit of both, and it mostly depends on my mood at the time smile. Some days I just have to get to work and make some money, so I pick topics that look like they might do well even if I'm not too thrilled about it. Other days I just have an itch to address a particular subject or issue and run with it, regardless of whether it may or may not earn any money...and every now and then, I get surprised and the two are one and the same big_smile.

    1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
      Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      The bills /are/ pressing on occasion, aren't they? ^^ College tuition makes me think twice sometimes about some of the topics I'd like to write about. So in the end I try to balance them. A bit of both is a great way to go! smile

      1. wychic profile image83
        wychicposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        They sure can be...and I have baby #2 on the way right now, so I really have no idea how much I'm going to be able to work during the holiday season this year. As a result, I'm thinking ahead to the October-December season rather than focusing on what will make money right now tongue.

        1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
          Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Awww!!! Congratulations! smile Do you write only for Hubpages or other websites as well? Perhaps you might consider writing a book and publishing it for steady profit?

          1. wychic profile image83
            wychicposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks big_smile. I write for three other sites, as well as freelancing smile. I have toyed with the idea of writing a book, but have slowly been increasing my recurring income online and so have decided to stick to what I know and what pays off relatively quickly. That said, I have written a few eBooks that add a nice little chunk to the recurring income too...though those are done in partnership with a web designer friend of mine, so all the marketing and optimization chores are split up to make it a bit more feasible. Steady profit hasn't been an issue, but the amount is under construction tongue.

            1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
              Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Ooooh . . . eBooks, huh? Sounds exciting! What topics are those books about? smile

              1. wychic profile image83
                wychicposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                Freshwater aquarium fish, mostly...I co-wrote one on travel nursing and am working on some about small-scale farms, but the fish work the best for me because it's a subject I know well and LOVE teaching others about.

                1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
                  Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  Very cool! Did your interest come from raising freshwater fish while growing up or something later in life?

                  1. wychic profile image83
                    wychicposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    While growing up smile. My mom had many different income streams, including cleaning aquariums...but she didn't know anything about the fish, only the mechanics of cleaning and conditioning the water. I started researching them to help her with her customers (I was about 9 at the time) and got hooked, and have been raising them since.

  3. kephrira profile image60
    kephriraposted 12 years ago

    I think I already wrote about all the stuff that interests me and that I wanted to write about, so now apart from maybe once every couple of months I generally write about the topics that I think will make me money.

    1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
      Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Sounds like a plan to me! And hopefully at least some of those topics for money also match your interests. Just a bit? ^^

  4. Misha profile image64
    Mishaposted 12 years ago


    1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
      Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      [Brief deviation from overall topic ]

      Hmm . . . Misha, I checked out your bio page and sounds like you love driving (my profile pic is happy there's a fellow racer on the loose here at Hubpages!). "I love the feeling of my car as an extension of myself" . . . that's poetry! smile

      1. Misha profile image64
        Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        LOL Thanks. smile Not necessarily racing though, I guess I am too old for that. Though I routinely drive 90-100 mph. Not on parking lots of course. smile

        1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
          Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          90-100 mph?! O.o Wow. Now I wish I lived in your state. Here in Georgia we have police stationed on every corner. Go five miles over the speed limit and you're slapped with a ticket.

          1. Misha profile image64
            Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Never had a problem in Georgia - but then did not drive there for the last several years, things could change of course. Got handcuffed in NC though, and also served several days in jail here in VA. smile

            1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
              Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Handcuffed and in jail? Sounds like your life's been an adventure! Have you ever considered writing a book about your experiences?

              1. Misha profile image64
                Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                LOL It still is - and no, may be later smile

          2. Randy Godwin profile image60
            Randy Godwinposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Not in my part of south Georgia!  But dirt road driving is the best anyway.  We have some great curvy back roads which are fun to travel with no cops around for miles.

    2. Cagsil profile image75
      Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed! lol

  5. Jeff Berndt profile image74
    Jeff Berndtposted 12 years ago


    I write about stuff that interests me, but I also hope it interests others enough to earn me a little extra money.

    1. Michelle Izmaylov profile image59
      Michelle Izmaylovposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      From your profile page, it sounds like you've been pretty successful with your work! What kinds of nonfiction articles do you publish? smile

      1. Jeff Berndt profile image74
        Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Mostly articles about tabletop and live-action role-playing games. But being a traditional freelance writer is a big pain (at least for me) what with all the record-keeping. That's why I like Hub Pages so much. I can publish without having to remember who I sent what article to, and whether they're going to own my work in perpetuity or whether I get to publish it elsewhere after a year, or six months, or two years or....

  6. Internetwriter62 profile image77
    Internetwriter62posted 12 years ago

    For myself, but I do like to have a marketable perspective.

  7. profile image0
    AMBASSADOR BUTLERposted 12 years ago

    For myself. The market will find me and catch up to me. I am in no hurry. I am doing well on my 1 hub. It is QUALITY QUALITY QUALITY. NOW if you can write 20 30 50 100 quality hubs then more power to you.

  8. VictorS. profile image61
    VictorS.posted 12 years ago

    Even though I know that such things are aimed at making the story itself better, I always find myself disgusted at such posts online as “How to Make the First Sentence Sell Your Novel.” I believe there is probably such a thing as tricking consumers into buying your written work, just like a salesperson of any product could do. You end up creating a work of art that is based on how well you can trick others into thinking it’s a work of art. I suppose there’s a kind of art to that. But I think what’s more important is “would other people enjoy reading this?” When we talk about markets we talk about money. Money can cause us to cut corners. That’s the idealistic answer anyway. Realistically, I guess you would have to concede to the market to some degree if you plan on making money. I can imagine a writer or two saying "Hey, a person's got to eat." Either that, or what you enjoy writing just so happens to coincide.

    1. Eiddwen profile image77
      Eiddwenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      An interesting subject!  I am pretty new to sharing my work to the world so initially I had so many hubs to 'show' and 'to get out of my system'. These were written for my own benefit and hopefully for others as well.They were on a subject close to the hearts of many so they seemed to' work'  both ways. I also wrote a tribute to my daughter that was purely from 'me'. This would never be for the money making market. Maybe from here on I will look more into what the market wants and I love writing hubs filled with humour and many other sujects. However I do believe that the greatest success comes from the subjects that I feel passionate about . Hopefully they may be what the market is also looking for. Then I will have the best of both worlds.

  9. couturepopcafe profile image60
    couturepopcafeposted 12 years ago

    You don't do either.  You write for the story.  I'm strictly talking about fiction.  Non-fiction always has a target market.  It's factual.  You're putting words on a page but you're not "writing", you're not making it up.  In fiction, if you write for a particular underage group, of course you need to keep vocabulary in mind.  Anything else, always write for the story.  You have to forget the market, the agent, the publisher, the money and everything else that is going on in your life and in your head.  The story has to unfold.  You have to become part of it so it can tell itself.  Write for the story.  Write for the story.  Write for the story!  (That doesn't mean you can't go back and edit.)

  10. 2besure profile image81
    2besureposted 12 years ago

    I write for the market and sometimes I write for myself.

  11. CASE1WORKER profile image63
    CASE1WORKERposted 12 years ago

    i write for me- once or twice i wrote for the market- but it must have been closed that day

  12. barbergirl28 profile image70
    barbergirl28posted 12 years ago

    For me, I write for myself. I have a full time job and this is my outlet. While adding a few extra bucks by writing would be nice, I find that you are at the mercy of strangers clicking your ads. Therefore, I haven't made a whole lot of money by doing the freelance thing, but I am still rather new to the online writing communities, so here my fingers are crossed for the millions... lol.

    I actually belong to two different writing sites (this one and Xomba) I found Xomba first and what I found was that there were more people writing for the money (based off the articles they submitted) than there were people who actually wrote for the desire and the art. Because some of these people were writing for the money, I found they weren't reading other people's articles. That is when I found hubpages. Even if I am not making a whole lot of money yet, I really enjoy the community!

    Good luck on your new adventure!

  13. starme77 profile image78
    starme77posted 12 years ago

    Just write whatever strikes me when I read the paper or when things happen - like my next article will be on post tramatic stress disorder - just because - I write naturally - but also research thouroughly before an article - I don't ever write from pure emotion and publish cause that can be disasterous smile


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)