Trying Too Hard – 5 Tips To Being Yourself In A Changing Market

Have you ever felt like you are trying hard to fit in, but all you’ve managed to do is look foolish? I have.

There was that time in sixth grade when I tried to perm my hair so I would look like everyone else. I would have made call backs for Annie if I’d been a red head.

Then in ninth grade I tried to be a golf pro in gym. I smacked one of the cutest guys in the school with a golf ball.

As writers we are often told that our genre isn’t popular at that time, or our book doesn’t fit the market. We try so hard to be successful, but we often don’t know how to balance publishable with being true to ourselves.

This video reminds me a bit of the author’s life as we try to be just what the market ordered:

5 Tips To Being Yourself In A Changing Market: 

*Write what you are passionate about. This is something I learned from my agent Mary Keeley of Books & Such Literary. Write what you love and your inspiration will continue to flow.

*Perfect your craft. There is no substitute for excellence. A great story told brilliantly will get noticed regardless of the market trends.

*Don’t change genre to please the market. Just because one genre is selling more right now than another doesn’t mean that you should switch to that particular genre. The market will always change. Be true to what you love and you will find greater success. If you are already published and would like to try switching things up, then there may be a time for it. Usually that time is not when you are first starting out.

*Identify story themes within your genre that are of great interest to your audience in the current time.  Be willing to adapt your stories within your genre to capture your audience in ways that show market awareness.

*Put away stubbornness and grandstanding. If you have been told that your plot doesn’t work for the market, don’t be stubborn. There may come a time when that story is a better fit. Tuck it away and come back to it when the time is right.

Many times writers mistake holding on to a story for being true to themselves. Being true to yourself is recognizing what type of stories you love to write and doing that to the best of your ability.

No writer should be a one novel wonder. Stubbornness will only draw negative attention and the sense that you are unteachable.

Grandstanding over your story as if you are brilliant and everyone else is missing the boat will tarnish your credibility with editors and agents.

What tips do you have about being true to yourself in a changing market?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

4 thoughts on “Trying Too Hard – 5 Tips To Being Yourself In A Changing Market

  1. Melissa Tagg says:

    Really good stuff and lots of wisdom here, Michelle. Your post and all the great tips point to the truth that it IS possible to be true to yourself while at the same time being flexible, teachable and determined. Great stuff!

  2. Michelle Lim says:

    Thanks, Melissa! Your story is such a great example of this. I absolutely love your writing and the unique flare you have for comedy. Now you are beginning to see the outcome of your patience and wisdom in this area of being true to yourself!

  3. Were you at my house this morning and took my picture after I somehow deleted all five pages I’d written?

    Great tips, Michelle.

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