And it's so easy to become ensconced in one corner of the writing world. Seeing what that one crowd wants and working hard to make the theme in your book just right. It's work. Maybe not hard, but still--work. Perhaps the perspective on life and what's happening in the publishing industry gets narrowed.
All of a sudden, an author might question what in the world she's doing. Her stories hardly ring true anymore, she feels more like a drone than an imaginative, creative individual! Not me, an author. ;)
But I think that's why it's really important to READ everything. [yes, that's a bias statement--I'll explain] I've been reading romance since I was twenty-two, and it's usually contemporary, occasionally historical, always mainstream. When I say everything, I do admit that I won't read certain genres. For me, inspirational romance is a no. I'll read Christian fiction or Mainstream written by a Christian that is sweeter or maybe falls into the women's lit category. But Romance for me is a hard sell with no desire shown or implied. [but if you've followed me at all since I started this blog years ago, you probably already know how I feel--or you can read about it here and here!!] So, I don't read Inspirational Romance... fine. But there is so much to read!
Historical, Paranormal, Action/Adventure, YA, NA, Sci-fi...but wait! There's more! :D There's always one more genre out there to get our hands on in order to keep apprised of the industry and what it's doing. It's never as simple as "everyone is reading about vampires." Maybe writing that Vampire novel will help us grow as writers... maybe stepping out and doing something new is good for honing those skills. Yet, perhaps when we find ourselves writing against the grain, it's time to remember that there is a market for every genre. Every one!! [...no, not the one that tells the history of your family. Sorry!] There is a saying, if you don't like who you've become, change your friends. That can be true in this industry, too. If you don't like what you're writing, change your publisher! [again, I don't mean me. I'm just saying hypothetically] :D
Are we difficult artists if we write what we want to write? Or do we bring the best out in ourselves by allowing those creative juices to flow? How do you find a balance between this-is-business and this-is-art??