The other day in one of the Facebook groups I inhabit, someone asked, “Which one of these stories would you want to read first?” and he went through detailed descriptions of four ideas.
I didn’t even read the descriptions. This was a no-brainer.
Write the one that excites you the most, I said. Don’t worry about whether anyone will read it, not yet. The reader will recognize the passion in your storytelling and glom onto it.
Ray Bradbury said, “Write what you love, and love what you write.” J.K. Rowling tells the story of how editors at publishing house said no one was interested in reading long books about wizards in training at a magical private school. Turns out millions of Harry Potter readers are extremely interested, because they caught the fire in Rowling’s storytelling.
I have had limited success in getting that kind of response, but the first story readers reacted strongly to was, of all things, a short story about a guy appearing in front of a bored city council committee to explain why he won’t cut his lawn and lets wildflowers grow instead. An essay was once written about a song I wrote, about waking up one cold January morning with an itch to write a folk song and the self-doubts I encountered along the way. Those descriptions don’t tell the love I had for the stories, and the love was the connection. Write what you love, and you will love what you write.