Writing What Matters Most

We are happy to welcome Elana Johnson for today’s guest post!

Okay, so I’ve always been a proponent of writing what speaks to your heart. I decided that a few years ago after my agent called and told me that I couldn’t write a contemporary novel as a follow-up to my Possession series.

My first reaction was Don’t tell me I can’t.

I get the publishing industry tends to brand authors in specific genres. I’m not faulting them for that. If I wanted to write another dystopian romance, there wouldn’t be a problem.

The problem is me. I want to write what I want to write. And if that’s science fiction, or fantasy, or a “quiet” contemporary about a boy trying to figure out who he is, that’s what I’m going to write.

That’s one of the biggest reasons I decided to self-publish my verse novel, Elevated. It was a book of my heart, one I absolutely poured myself into, and I knew it would touch someone else’s heart.

And if that was only one someone else, that was okay with me. Because I want to write what I want to write. And I have.

I think that’s one of the most important things authors can do. Write what matters most—to them. Write the books of your heart. Publish them. Reach that person who needs to read the words of your heart.

Anything beyond that—publication, book deals, being widely read—that’s just icing on the creative cake. And I like cake.


Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist.

Her self-published novels include two YA contemporary novels-in-verse, Elevated and Something About Love, as well as a YA/NA futuristic fantasy series, which includes Elemental Rush, Elemental Hunger, and Elemental Release.
School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

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