There is a divide I see in writing that I feel I recently came upon. It is more prominent in some cases, and less in others. The divide is: Is it better to write for your own enjoyment, or for that of the crowds? In this post, I am going to be talking about the upsides and the downsides of each.
Let’s start with writing for yourself. There are a lot of good things about this. You can really carry out your imagination and your ideas, and if you don’t publish it you don’t have too worry about making it look appealing to the crowds. . At the same time, if done well, you can perfectly display your imagination and carry out your ideas with publication . But this is hard. I am writing a fantasy novel right now, and I can tell you it takes a ton of time. You have to display your thoughts well, and shape them into a plot that teaches characters. You have to describe things in a way where the seen actually makes sense.
Redwall is a prime example of writing for yourself. It is about a land where instead of humans there are small mammals ruling (E.G. Squirrels, Mice, Rabbits, Moles) and there are 23 books about different legends of Redwall. It is my favorite novel series, though I am still reading them, and I think the Author does them perfectly. They are magical and intriguing, and his vivid descriptions of the world and of the creatures inhabiting it are amazing. Each one is unique with it’s own individuality, it’s own characters with their skills and flaws. He is never too lazy to just have the old characters star in his new book, but rather he creates new ones for every novel. This is a good case of writing for yourself because it quite obviously wasn’t just created because wanted to write something- It is its own category, something from an imagination or a dream.
Now I will go over what I feel is the other category: Righting for others. Your writing for others when you want to write something and so you just come up with a plot. The goal is not to carry out your own thoughts, but rather just to publish something and entertain others. At first this seems like it would always be good, but things sometimes go downhill. People start using cheap hooks to lure the reader into reading more; They try to make everything ultra-dramatic and nothing can just be deep or actually interesting. Of course, these books don’t have to go down this path. But I’ve read a lot that have.
I’m going to give an interesting example now: Harry Potter. I actually have a different view on this than most people. I think that her first 5 books were of the first kind: Writing for Herself. She had a vision in her head and carried it out. It was mysterious and magical, and made for a great set of books. But I feel the books after that she began to write just to appease the crowds, because people wanted more. She came up with super-complicated lore and intertwining backstories and everything got so complicated and confusing that it isn’t even fun for me even more. It started out as a magical children’s story, and ended in 760 pages of Avada Kedavra.
I have shamed writing for others in this paper, but it is not necessarily worse. A lot of the time it is more entertaining. I haven’t made my decision yet- this paper was mainly for the purpose of prompting thought in the reader.