Even though I’m still wallowing in the middle of my own personal wasteland, AKA draft #2, I’ve started to pay attention to the business side of publishing. Yes, I have a ways to go before I need to face it head on with my own work, but the fact is, I find the publishing industry fascinating, so I don’t mind learning all the intricacies of the process, from writing to publication.

The bleakness of the publishing industry is a constant theme these days. I even touched on it in my post/rant yesterday on the state of journalism. And I’ve heard and read over and over again that literary fiction doesn’t sell. You would think that would make me reconsider my work-in-progress, but the fact is, I’m not writing for publication nor am I catering my writing to what sells. I am writing this story, which falls into the category of literary fiction, because it is the story I want to tell. It is also a story I would like to read. That has always been my foremost priority, writing a book I like. If someone else should ever like it as much as I do, well, great. But as I slog away at draft #2 that’s not my focus and it’s not what keeps me motivated on those days I just want to be done with it and chuck the whole damn thing.

Rachelle Gardner, a literary agent, has a great post today on her blog Rants and Ramblings on the frustrations many writers have with the current trends in the publishing industry. Yes, she admits:

Memoir is out unless you’re famous. Chick lit is dead. Literary fiction doesn’t sell. Nobody wants books over 100k words.

But, she reminds readers, “There are always books that buck the trends.” And while writers should “know the market,” they shouldn’t worry about the market. Just write! An important reminder amidst all the negativity out there. And it’s the truth. To spend the time and energy writing a novel you better be doing it because you love to write and you love your story, because otherwise, I’m sorry, but you must be a masochist.

Now, back to writing a book that will buck the trends.