Who can argue with this brilliant writing advice from author Virginia Woolf?
Woolf’s writing has certainly stood the test of time, but I like the sentiment she expresses here. Understandably, a writer wants to write novels or stories that will weather the decades (or centuries?), but there is freedom in writing what brings you pleasure, not what you assume will have staying power.
I’ve read plenty of much-lauded novels I found to be ho-hum books at best, and others I’ve stumbled upon that must not have been great commercial successes, but which moved me and stay firmly etched in my memory.
Maybe the story you wrote with such passion will only be for the enjoyment of your writing group, or a small group of beta readers. The important thing is that you, as the writer, felt compelled to write it.
So, although it may not be a sage business model, here’s to writers putting pen to paper to write what they wish to write – and taking Virginia Woolf’s writing advice to heart …