This is dedicated to everyone starting NaNoWriMo on Thursday. Wondering what to write about? Read on…
Last Tuesday, Apple made another of their big announcements. Finally, they are releasing a smaller tablet, called the iPad Mini. Analysts have been expecting this for months–some even thought the iPad Mini would be released last spring alongside the iPad 3 (sorry, New iPad). Additionally, they announced refreshes of the iMac, 13″ MacBook Pro, and probably something else I’m forgetting.
However, the thing that has everyone talking is the iPad 4. That’s right, there is a brand new iPad on the scene, just seven months after the release of the last one. I scanned comments on the live feeds later that day (yes, I am that much of an Apple geek) and I was struck by how much vitriol was aimed at Apple for this move. “Thanks for making my brand new product obsolete,” seemed to be the general sense.
Wait a minute… did you buy the iPad because you liked the features it had, or did you buy it to be cutting edge? You know how technology works; things are obsolete before you take them out of the box. If you’re only buying to have the newest thing, you will never ever be satisfied with what you have. I am a huge gadget geek, but I read through that post with a sense of blasé indifference. I adore my iPad and I am thrilled with everything it can do. Why should that change just because there’s a different model out there?
Writing books can often feel a bit like technology. There are definite sales trends in books, and as writers, we want to stay ahead of the curve. If the public is reading vampire books today, it won’t be easy to sell one in a year. They’ll want something different.
However, if you have a vampire book you are dying to write, write it! Don’t choose your plot based on what’s new and hip–choose it based on what you love to write. Your novel about dogs who save the world may create a brand new genre, or your vampire novel may be the one to make blood-sucking leeches sexy again.
If you spend your entire career chasing the trends, you will be just as dissatisfied with your writing as those Apple fanboys are with their still-perfectly-good iPads. To add a badly misused quote, “Damn the torpedoes–full speed ahead!” Ignore the critics and the reviewers saying, “This is a tired genre, do something else,” and just write the book you have inside you.