Saturday, September 29, 2012

Trending Now...

We live in the age of the Great Compare-athon. Suddenly everything everyone is doing, saying and being is out there for us to see. Or, to be more correct, the versions of themselves they want people to see are out there. To say that social media is changing society is an understatement. And the fact that money can be made from tracking trends and garnering preferences takes the momentum of the phenomenon to warp speed. Never has so much been made of the need to be "with it". Or at least, never has it invaded our space so silently and totally. In many ways it has extended the High School-esque social climbing way on into the adult world. Want to fit in? Want to be popular? Want others to think you are hip and amazing? There is a fix for any perceived social weakness. If you don't believe me, read the ads on the margins of facebook. Will I really be happier if I buy the revolutionary new product discovered by the woman who covered herself in something scarlet and lumpy? You know, the woman all the dermatologists hate because she is cutting into their business.

I started thinking about his because I read some advice from a children's writer, saying that if we want to make money we should look to see what is trending in children's books and write to that theme. Yikes! That seems like such a bad idea. But I do notice a huge effort in that direction. Just search YA novels about vampires and you will see what I mean. Or picture books about bodily functions.

It just doesn't fit for me. Any more than I can put myself in skinny jeans or that must-have neon puce jumpsuit. I still have to be myself, and in this brave new world of keeping up with the current trend, I'll just have to start my own trend. I'm trending myself.  So much more freedom! Who knows, maybe I'll still sell more books. But I'll definitely enjoy writing what comes out of my own imagination!

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