I don’t write for money, but I do want readers, very much. I guess I write to connect.
But if I wrote something I hated writing, and a ton of readers loved it, I wouldn’t feel like I was actually making a real connection, I think.
It’s hard to say for sure, because this is such a big hypothetical. I enjoy writing enough different things that might (key word) appeal to people that I have no reason to write something I dislike. I’m not going to run and write dino porn because someone tells me the genre is particularly underserved. I don’t see much point in trying to write something I wouldn’t read myself.
But it could also be that I’m just not very good at writing in a way that sells. Believe me, I’ve considered this. I made a market-related choice to write scary thriller stuff, but I also fill my books with atmospheric descriptions because, for me, those are essential to scariness. Would I sell better if it was all just corpses piling up? Maybe! But I don’t feel capable of writing that way, and I don’t want to. Again, I can’t write what I wouldn’t read.
I love this, and feel exactly the same way. I want to write books that people like, no matter the income -- my goal is just to get my words out there in the world and read. But at the same time, if I was writing something I didn't enjoy, I don't think I could sustain that. One of my professors in college encouraged that, and said if you were making an income from writing you were a success -- he wrote virtually everything under the sun under many different pennames. But that always rang false for me. I want to write stories that I would want to read, not just things that'll earn me a paycheck. And if that wins me readers someday, that's what I'm meant to do. Otherwise, my novels will stay mine.
And I think I'm okay with that.