The first time I wrote an actual story start to finish I know I wrote it for me. I wrote a story I wanted to read but couldn’t find. I wrote a story that featured a hero who was young and Indian and nerdy and unpopular.
By the time I was writing stories for money as a journalist, I was writing them for an audience identified by my editors. Every agent I’ve had (all two ; ) has tried to push my writing into meeting the zeitgeist at its height - most memorably when 50 Shades of Grey broke big and an agent tried to convince me to turn my Portia Adams series into a sexy-soft porn of the 1930s.
I can honestly say that I’ve had little to no success chasing the viral trend of the moment. It felt unnatural, it made my writing stale, boring and hard to write and most of all, it made me not want to write at all.