You’re a writer and you have a specific genre you love, the POV you write well, and a style that is all you. This is what you’re comfortable writing, and you’re good at it, not to brag or anything. Then you see the bestsellers list are all a similar book. You notice were honey badger vampire hybrid romance is all the rage. You think I need to write one of these books so I can be successful like all these other writers. That’s got to be the key.
So you start The Were Honey Badger Vampire Hybrid’s Toothy Love and you get into it about five thousand words. If you’re an outline person maybe you get into it about the fifth chapter and you think this is so hard. Why is this so hard? Do you want to know why? Because it’s not what you write. You could care less if the honey badger vampire bites his honey or not.
I love this quote from The Creative Penn’s facebook quoting Kris Rusch –
“Writers who chase trends are writing books that they believe will make money.
Writers who do not chase trends, writers who write books of their heart, are writing books they believe in. Books they will fight to the death for. Books they will take risks for. Books that might not succeed the first time out.”
If you’re an author chasing the trends you’re going to be miserable.
I know what you’re saying, but Emily what if I get on a list, make it big, sell a million copies?
Well, good for you but then you realize you’re stuck right? Your audience is going to want more of the same. You’ll have to write another honey badger vampire story and keep it new and fresh. Is that what you really want? Would you not rather continue to write what you love and nurture your career so when you do make it big you are going to get to write what you love, what you’re passionate about, what you’re good at? Instead you’ll have to immediately start on My Step Brother, The Were-Badger.
Trends fade too. If you chase the trends by the time you get that first honey badger book out there, it may be that everyone has moved onto stories about aliens going to the dentist. If that’s the case then you’ve wasted a lot of time and are more than likely going to start researching dental tools.
My point is authors shouldn’t chase what’s possible just to sell books. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I think if you’re going to be a writer as a career choice, you should at least enjoy what you’re writing. If you absolutely have to write in the honey badger trend, you can’t stand it, you have a story idea that’s too good, I suggest doing it as your side hustle with a pen name.
Thanks for reading and comments are encouraged!
Question for the comments – What’s a trend you’ve seen authors chase?