I was out for drinks last night with a friend of mine. She went through the standard haven’t-seen-you-in-a-while litany of questions – How’s was your vacation? What are your plans for the summer? Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey? You know – all the stuff girlfriends talk about. Then she hit me with the big one: “What are you going to write for me next?” I found myself speechless, staring at her as my mind drew a blank. She laughed, citing how she found it amusing that had no problem talking about the indecencies of one Christian Grey, but when asked a run-of-the-mill question about writing, I floundered.
Here’s the problem: There is the book I want to write, and then there is the book I should write.
I am not talking trends; I am referring to tone and theme. My passion is emotionally-driven YA contemporary. As a well-trusted writing friend of mine once said: “You don’t build relationships. You take existing, fully-functioning relationships and tear them apart, toss you characters into a pit of despair just so you can rebuild them.” In a sense, she is not wrong. The problem is, there is a narrow niche for that type of book.
Which brings me to the book I probably should write – the lighthearted YA contemporary that is infused with humor and a ton of awkward firsts. I have thought about it, even have the plot worked out and the character set to roll. I even went so far as to get the green light form my agent. I could write it, probably have a decent first draft done by the beginning of July. Problem is, I’d hate every second of writing it. Let’s face it, those of who know me and/or writing can say without any reservation that I don’t do peppy or hopeful well; desperate and despondent is more my style!
Now let me say if first because I know you are all thinking it. You should write the book you want to write. And I agree, but . . .