Sometimes, I’ll be reading a novel, totally immersed in the story, no longer aware of time passing or the hustle and bustle of the world around me. It’s the ultimate joy for any reader: finding a book so good, it draws you in and won’t let you escape.
The thing is, often the books that suck me in best are the ones I’d be reluctant to admit to other people that I enjoy: cheesy chick lit, maybe a corny romance, perhaps a formulaic thriller that just happens to have an amazing story.
I read these books, I love them, and then, when I write, I do everything in my power to write exactly the OPPOSITE.
I call it “Important Book Syndrome.”
Although there are writers out there who don’t suffer from it (like the people who write all those guilty-pleasure books we all gobble up each summer on the beach), most of us writers do have this disease. Admit it.
We feel like we should be using our God-given talent to write, not “trashy” genre novels, but something . . . important.
And sure, that’s a noble goal, and “important” books can be terrific. But the problem is, most of us are so determined not to write anything “unworthy” that we end up not writing at all.
Trust me: An unwritten masterpiece is a lot more embarrassing to have on your resume than a dozen finished romance novels.
So, my advice is just this: Forget about important and write what YOU would like to read.
If that happens to be a classic work of literature along the lines of Jane Eyre or The Grapes of Wrath, good for you. But if it’s a 12-book series of erotic science fiction? Go for it just the same.
What’s important is that you write—and what you write doesn’t have to be “important.”