Some of my students and fellow fiction writers have somehow gotten hold of the idea they must “write for the market.” Seems like sound advice, right? Who’s against that?
Reason One: The lag in publication time makes it almost certain that what you write for today’s market will be bean dip a couple of years down the road, stale as a campaign promise.
Reason Two: Some people can sell anything. Chevy, Buick, Toyota, Hummer, and can pretend they’re really in love with the product. If you have to pretend you’re in love with your product, writing, you introduce a false note into your work. An experienced editor or agent can smell it like a sweat sock in an undie drawer. (That metaphor sounds a little off, but this is dataspace.)
Write from your own heart, the themes that mean something to you, the things that make your hair stand up, and your eyes mist over. That’s where the good true stuff lies. It’s the stuff agents and editors want–any time, any season. It’s the stuff that will always be memorable, and marketable.
A knowlege of general market trends is not a bad thing, but being a leader instead of a follower is a far better thing. So hit those keys–lead with your heart. And, as always, WRITE AT ABSOULTE TOP SPEED.