There are a couple major schools of thought with writers. One is “write what you love.” The other is “write to market.”
The way I see it, writing what you love, what you’re passionate about is essentially being an artist.
Writing to market is a way to approach writing as a professional trade. You study genres to see what’s selling really well, and what looks like it will keep selling. Then you read a bunch of it, see what the standards and tropes are, and then you (in some people’s opinions rather formulaicly) write that.
When I was first introduced to LitRPG it was through a friend who saw huge potential for it and figured he couldn’t pass that up. He then wrote some amazing books for it and is doing really well.
I figured it warranted a look. I liked his books, but read several others which left me pretty unimpressed. “I can do better than most of these,” I said.
But I didn’t want to just write it because it might be good money. I needed a way to get excited about it. I didn’t see a way to do that, so I set it aside as a “someday, perhaps.”
When the idea for Riftworlds Online came to me it was one I got excited about. It’s a story I can really get behind, with a reason why the character has to go into the game, knowing he might not be able to get out for quite some time, knowing he could die in the process.
The more I mapped out the series the more excited about it I got. Now it’s a storyline I’m passionate about, and I think that’ll come through. The first draft of book one is complete, and I’m working on revisions. I think it’ll be a worthwhile addition to the genre that people will enjoy reading as much as I’m enjoying writing it.
There’s enough in the future books I don’t see myself getting burned out on, don’t see myself lagging on. This is a series I can enjoy writing through the end, and that’s important to me.