Do You Write to a Market or Write and Then Market?

idea or marketWhenever you hear someone say that there are two types of writers, you usually think plotters and pantsers — those who outline first vs those who see where the writing takes them.  But there is another writing dichotomy to consider — those writers who write a piece to submit to a specific market vs. those who write something and then look for a market.  Which one are you?

I don’t fit cleanly into one category or another.  Sometimes, I write a manuscript with a particular market in mind.  This can happen when I’ve been reviewing market listings and theme lists and something sparks my imagination.  Other times it is a market/editor that I regularly work with and they’ve put out a call so I work up ideas tailored to them and that they want.

Other times I write a story or article because I really, really want to write that particular piece.  I have an idea and it simply won’t leave me alone.  Somewhere in the writing process, I then have to find one or more possible markets.

Which is easier?  For me, probably the first simply because most of the work that I sell has been written with a particular market in mind.  If that market doesn’t take it or I don’t write something for one specific market, I have a much harder time getting it out the door.  Marketing apparently is not my favorite thing.  I’m also more inclined to spend my writing time working on a project for which I have a ready market.

So do you do one or the other or both?