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The Book Written For Everyone

I've always written stories, and have almost always had the dream that everyone would love my stories.

I had a rude awakening, though, when I became serious about my writing and started researching. It came like this: 

"Know your audience ... it can't be everyone."

"Stick to a genre, and be true to it ... you can't write everything."

"There will be people who hate your book. That's okay. It's not written for them." 

"Know the market, know the books like yours. Your book is not unique."

And so I was told to narrow my dreams to a niche of people. You can imagine how depressing that was for me. 

For a time. 

You see, all these book beliefs are centered around people's desire to be labeled. Humanity likes everything organized and defined. We like to make charts and statistics, to better source our income. Even as writers who say we write for God when it comes down to it, we allow ourselves to fall into this trap because of money "marketing". 

1 Timothy 6:10 "For the love of money is the root of all evil."

How ironic is it that the book that contains the above verse defies every "marketing" rule and yet is the most successful book ever???

The Bible is: 
  • It's own genre, and there's none like it. No comp titles for God's word ;D 
  • The Bible is targeted toward the largest possible audience: humanity. it's not for children, MG, YA, or adults, but everyone. 
  • Yes, many hate the Word of God, but that doesn't mean it's not for them. Very sad thought. 
  • The Bible wasn't written for any market, or to make big the best selling list. Yet it's sold over 3.9 billion copies. The book in second place doesn't come close to the Bible at all, having sold mere millions. 
  • The Bible wasn't true to any genre, or prose, or writing style. It contains deep theology and poetry. It has stories and it has facts. It has prophecies and it has history. Some parts are romantic, others are gruesome or horrific. 
The sad thing is that despite all this, humanity still tries to put the Bible in a box by labeling it "Christianity", "Theology", "Non-fiction", etc. 

We, humans, try to define, organize, and "improve". But all we get in return is chaos and uncertainty. I think the main problem is we are trying to make sense of things when God says, "Let go and follow me. My way is the only way." 

He desires us to be free of our chains and let go of our need for stability, and to trust Him. 

And yet, we must stuff everything into a small cardboard box and label what we think the contents are with our black, squeaky sharpie. 

Yes, marketing may be good and all that, but if there's anything I've learned, it's this: 
I'm not going to limit my dreams because of what the "market" supposedly demands. I'm going to write my stories, and if one of them becomes a best seller, so be it. 

And if none of them do ... well, my stories will still go where God wants them to go. 

I will write for everyone who will read my stories. 

I will write about life, not form my words around some genre expectation. 

I will write for love, not for money.

There may be "nothing new under the sun" and my stories might have "comp titles", but I will still believe that my stories are unique and need to be told.  

This post started out as a satire, and then went serious. Make of it what you will. I'm not against knowing your audience, genre, and market. But I do think we should be careful about being stuck in a niche. 


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