(This goes a little into the rant side of the spectrum.)
One of those strings of writing advice that kept coming around to me was to find my "niche" in the market. Honestly, I didn't know what that meant. Not really. I assumed it meant larger pictures, like "romance" or "westerns."
Well, as it turns out, after writing four novels - I think I've found my niche. It started with a yet unpublished steampunk/fantasy. Once I got into the groove, I couldn't stop writing. I was editing a chapter a day. I snowballed through that novel. And now, I'm snowballing through another novel in the same vein - steampunk/fantasy.
The worlds come alive to me. I can see it.
It bothers me when new writers want to write for the market. They want to jump on the vampire bandwagon or whatever trends is going on. It seems that everyone and their sister has a YA fantasy. Then there's the writers who aren't sure if their novel is YA; if you don't know, then you need to go read some YA. If you don't read YA, why are you writing it? It seems to me like there are so many writers out there just trying to write the next big tween hit and make a fortune.
Has anyone else noticed this? I didn't at first, but now that I've been swimming in Indie-World for a while, I'm seeing the trends.
I feel like new writers are so concerned with making a smash hit, that they're not writing stories that they enjoy. They're worried about fame and fortune and movie deals.
This comes back to what might be the most important writing advice I've ever gotten: Write for yourself.
Write first for yourself, then edit like crazy, then worry about an agent.