Peggy Bechko on Selling Out

Well, she doesn’t really call it that ‘cuz she’s a classy lady. Whereas we…hey, you know. Here, from Peggy’s blog, are her thoughts on writing to sell:

Should Writers Write For the Market? – by Peggy Bechko





There you are.

Writers are a funny bunch. We want to be original, unique, outstanding, and at the same time catch that trend that can drag us along to fame and fortune so to speak. Not only can we make a living from that pinnacle, but we can push our creativity in our writing in lots of new directions that acceptance allows.

So the question arises, whether we want it to or not, should we write what the market demands or should we write whatever we want to write and then find a market for that writing?

Well, darn it, both.

Yep, if you come across some opportunity for a kind of writing that pulls at you, intrigues you, sparks the creative drive, then pursue it, take a shot, see what you can come up with to intrigue readers.

Just because a writing project isn’t being created from your original root doesn’t make the project less valid. And if you spark with it, it does take away some of the pressure and makes writing that much more fun for that particular project. If reading a post somewhere or receiving an invitation to join a project, one that’s riding the tide of a fad or a trend, gets your juices flowing and slaps a smile on your face, then that’s the route to go. Every road has many twists and turns so go with it.

But, and it’s another one of those big BUTs, don’t let trend-chasing become your be-all, end-all. Chasing trends, if that’s all you do with your writing, isn’t going to get you far.

If you focus only on the writing trend rising, spin it, put out some great writing and finally get it to market, the trend you originally followed is most likely going to have faded like the sun dropping into the ocean at sunset.

Besides, latching onto a trend that’s already flowered is likely to leave you holding a dead stem.

Keep in mind, every trend was started by a book or a movie or a game that didn’t fit what was then the trend. It became the ‘NEW’ thing – exciting, head-turning, drawing the people looking for entertainment into the next trend.

Readers, producers, editors, they’re all looking for the next big thing.

And the next big thing will come along.

So, coming full circle, don’t you think that you, as a writer, will be better off writing what really interests you, what grabs you and sparks your creative juices so strongly you can’t wait to sit down to write, and to write it so well that you create a market for your writing; the next trend, the next big thing. A trend you start and somebody else wants to follow along.

Readers, aren’t you looking for material that is new, exciting, refreshing and not just a part of the latest fading trend?

Give me your opinions on reading, writing and trends. Don’t hold back – lay it right out. All thoughts and opinions encouraged.

Ah, that should clear it up! Thanks, Peggy!

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

3 thoughts on “Peggy Bechko on Selling Out”

  1. I thought I already answered this question! Okay, I’ll say it one more time, then you’re on your own. “You must write to TELL a story, and not SELL a story!” One comes from the heart. The other a cash register. gs

    1. So, Ger, when you write you never think about the audience? What might work for it? Or, to go back a step, what might get you to that audience – like, you know, making it past the gatekeepers? Or, to put it another way, writing so that your work will have a better chance of being bought?

      Just wonderin’.


Comments are closed.