I started out just writing--like we all do. Then I started researching the business, and at that point in time it was all about traditional publishing because you absolutely had to have your books in bookstores to sell, and you have to sell (of course) to make it as a writer. So it was about queries and synopsis and having the first three chapters of your novel so polished that they shone, flawless on the page.
The same critique group that honed this awareness introduced the idea that publishers were looking for marketability.
I was an impressionable 21, with the only certainty in my young life the conviction that, in the amorphous future, I wanted to be a full-time writer and nothing else. I soaked up the ideas of how to attract an agent, a publisher, and promote oneself as a writer.
Young as I was, I also chafed against this focus. Shouldn't it be about my writing? This is, after all, what I want to do?
Besides, the group’s ideas of what made a story “promote-able” were an exact opposite, oftentimes, to what I considered good writing. I wanted storytelling that didn't treat the reader as an imbecile with ADD.
Over time, I went off the deepend, eventually being completely obsessed with marketability. This happened partially in response to the changing industry and my determination to be traditionally published.
But the more my academic experience changed how I viewed the industry and the trajectory we were all headed into, the more I questioned the viability of starting out pursuing traditional publication. I gathered my own ideas of marketing, of writing, of developing myself and my career, and then fell down a recession-forged fiscal hole that finished the destruction of my carefully held beliefs of the adult world.Now, perhaps, I am ready for the enacting of my ideas. It’s a long time coming.