NEWS: Finally all the official stuff is in place and I can tell you I have a five book contract with The Wild Rose Press for my SFR series. This is the series that started with Enemy Within and Enemy Games. This contract is for the complete series. So in the near future, I should have fun stuff to share.
Writing Advice to Laugh Off
The worst writing advice ever is as much a peel back of my psychology as it is terrible writing advice, but here it is. "Write to market". Don't get me wrong. There's a time and place for worrying about the market. You need to know stuff like sex scenes do not a romance make. That much market, okay. That's more an issue of knowing your market.
No, when I hear someone say 'writing to market', I hear someone suggesting that we al learn how to read minds and predict what's going to be popular two years from now cause that's how long it will take to write, sub an get a book through the publication process with a traditional house. You might only have to predict six months of future if you go with an indie press or self pub something. There are people who do it, though, I hear you say. I'd argue that those people found or created a niche, recognized what their readers loved about the niche and then those writers stay faithful to reader expectation book after book. In a way, that is writing to market - your market. That's totally learnable.
But writing to The Market as if you're in possession of some kind of literary crystal ball? That is a key that opens the door to crazy. When someone says 'write to market', it kicks me straight out of being immersed in my story and into high insecurity. I spend all my writing time slogging through the 'yer doing it wrong' voices. Have you ever read one of those stories where the heroes have to fight their way through some kind of compulsion? That's what it feels like. There. You have insight into my legion of neuroses. C'mon in. They don't bite. Much.
What would I prefer over 'write to market'? Easy. Write the story that needs to be written. Write what matters to you. Worry about the market once you're in the editing phase. That's when you're in analytical brain and that's when you can entertain all those critical internal voices. That's when it makes sense to look at what's out there in the book world and decide where your darling might fit. Until then, write what's in your head. Someone somewhere needs that.