It’s been said before, and I’m saying it again… If you’re going to be a writer you need to do three things:
- Read about writing
In a book I’ve been reading the author puts a lot of emphasis on having a salable story. It’s a valid question: is your story salable? It can also be an off-putting question.
On the other side of the writer’s pen I find people worried about writer’s block… One cause of “writer’s block” is the false belief you have nothing worth saying. Putting emphasis on a salable story can double down on that stress and fear.
Do I have a saleable story? And, do I have anything worth saying? Are both worthwhile questions, but never mistake them for the same question!
How do you define “worth saying” (or worth writing)?
Salability, a trait marking people’s willingness to pay money for a piece of writing is one way to measure worth, but it’s not the only one.
What about the things we say and write that make someone else feel loved? You might not be looking to be paid for those.
What about words that save a life? You might say or writing those words for a purpose other than the ‘almighty dollar’.
The question “Do I have anything worth saying?” can be properly rephrased as “Do I have anything to say that’s worth the effort I will put into it?”
I hope you have something worth the effort to say.
I also hope you put the effort into your ideas, all the ones you write and say that are worth saying.
What do you want out of what you write? Once you know, you can figure out what to say and make it worth saying. It takes a lot of work sometimes, but it is possible.
What is your purpose in writing? What do you want out of it? What interests you? What drives you? Once you have those answers you can, and will, find that within you and your world that is worth writing.
We all have something unique in our experience and perspective. We all have something worth saying.
We have to find it.
If we want people to read what we write, we also have to work it into something salable (but that’s a different question…).
Salability is a measure of whether, and how much, someone else will pay for the things we say and write.
Salability is as much about how you present your words and ideas as it is about the ideas themselves
It doesn’t matter how brilliant your idea is if your query letter reads like it should have been written in crayon. You probably aren’t going to be taken seriously as a publisher if you present an unreadable business plan. At the bank, you won’t get your funding if no one believe what you’re saying.
If your story contains more profanity and epithets than anything else highly doubt it will be salable as a children’s book…
Salability is about presentation and audience as much as it is about the idea. That means almost any idea, even a silly one, can be salable if you package it right and present it to the right audience. Remember the fidget spinner? The pet rock? The Tide Pod Challenge? All of those went big!
Salability is a question of research; figure out how to work your idea and who to present it to.
Chances are, if you have an idea worth saying you can make it salable with work (but it can take a lot of work).
If you’re not willing to put in the energy; if you don’t think the idea is worth saying, it will not be salable (at least not by you).
Be careful putting out ideas like that… Someone else may find them; find them worth saying; and then figure out how to really make them salable.
So there it is dear reader, two separate but related questions to get you where you want to go as a writer.
- Is it worth saying? If it is, work on that idea! If not, find something that is worth saying. You have something to say, trust me on that.
- Is it salable? It can be if it’s worth saying. You just have to figure out how to make it happen.
They’re real and important questions dear reader. And they’re questions every writer needs to ask regularly.
That’s it for this one. See you next post