Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Head Versus Heart

Photo by Ladyheart, www.morguefile.com
How many times have you heard a writer, actor, or artist talk about his or her wildly successful project? Often, we hear or read that such a project has sprung from subject matter close to the creator’s heart—some deep passion about something. In the September, 2012 issue of Writer’s Digest, for example, author Chris Cleave (best seller Little Bee, as well as Incendiary and Gold) shared that he only writes about topics that he really cares about.  Doesn’t it seem like more often than not, success stories start with this kind of spark or passion?

On the other hand, though, it’s sometimes hard to ignore what the market hungers for or requests.

If you are a writer, do you write solely about subject matter that has deep meaning for you or that resonates with you? Or, do you let trends or the market influence what you write about? In other words, do you listen to your head or your heart as you decide on a new project?

When you read, can you discriminate between an author who is passionate about his or her subject matter and one who may be more grounded? Does passion for a topic or subject matter always bleed through? Does it need to?