However, this is not the point. The point is, how many of you consciously emulate other writers to make your works more likely to be published? How many of you write "for the market" rather than for yourselves? I will not write for the market. Doing so demeans everything I try to do in my writing. But I have a great advantage over many -- I do not have to write to make a living -- so it would be unfair of me to judge those who do.
I urge those of you who do not to be true to yourselves and write from your own hearts and guts. Do not write what you think others want to hear -- write what you want to say and about those issues that are important to you. You don't have to "stand on a soapbox" to get a message across in a novel. It is easy enough to do that, through dialogue and narrative, without making it obvious. I believe that readers become weary of seeing the same stories, the same plots, the same characters, every time they open a new novel -- I know I do. Write for yourself, and maybe you'll make a difference.