I have a dilemma. There’s a new story knocking around in my brain. It’s been loud and boisterous all week, itching to break free from the confines of my mind. I like this story…a lot. I want to write this story…a lot. But, there’s a problem – it may not attract much of an audience. It’s highly controversial in nature and will likely make readers uncomfortable. It’s suitable for strictly mature audiences, leaving my young teen readers out in the cold.
Writing this story would be risky, sharing it even riskier.
Then there’s another story, one I had already fully outlined months ago. It’s the story I had originally planned to write next, the book I intended to publish, the book that would sell lots of copies and hit Amazon’s bestseller list (ok, so maybe that scenario’s a bit far fetched, but a girl can dream, can’t she?). Sure, this story also carries an element of controversy, but the characters are more likable and the premise is much less cringe worthy. It’s a story that could offer a broader appeal, which is important to note since my current readership consists predominantly of teens and young adults.
So, that brings me to the question: Which story do I write? The answer probably seems obvious – go with the more marketable story…the safer bet. Makes perfect sense, right? I mean, why shake things up now when I’m still trying to gain exposure, build a fan base, and make a legitimate go of it as a novelist?
On the other hand, the less marketable story is the one on my heart. It taunts me, challenges me – it dares to be written. Thinking about it gets my blood pumping, my gears churning, and my excitement building, which further fuels my motivation to write it. Deep down, I know this story will be stuck in my head until it becomes unstuck.
With that in mind, I guess I just answered my own question: Take a risk and write the story I’m more passionate about. Right?
But. But. But…
I don’t want to alienate my current readers, the people who have taken the time to read and support my first novel, Empty Me Out. They’ve meant so much to me, and their encouragement throughout the writing process is what’s kept me going all these months. The last thing I want is for them to feel let down or slighted.
But then I am reminded of something T.S. Eliot once said: “You have to risk going too far to discover just how far you can really go.” He made a good point, didn’t he?
But then on the other hand, there’s the Filipino Proverb which states; “Caution minimizes loss.” Again, some sound advice.
Both offer their own brand of inspiration, their own significance. But which is the right wisdom to follow in this situation?
Honesty, I have no freaking idea.
Can you see my dilemma?
So now, as I approach the end of this blog post, I find that I am no closer to a solution than I was in the beginning. What would you do? Would play it safe? Or would you take a risk? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading!
S A Healey, a happily married mother of two, is and will forever remain, a sucker for romance. You can currently read her first novel, Empty Me Out, for free on Wattpad. http://www.wattpad.com/story/3361337-empty-me-out