The other day Robin asked me if I thought the “Chick-Lit” phase would ever go away.
“Of course,” I said. “Something else we never saw coming will soon take its place as the hot new thing.” Just like in fashion. Nothing lasts forever…or does it?
While flipping through the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar the other day I read the “What’s In, What’s Out” list in horror as I realized that everything I’ve put on my body lately is on the “OUT” side. Wedge sandals? OUT. Chunky layered necklaces? OUT. Boot cut jeans? Definitely OUT. OMG, I’m a walking “Glamour Don’t.”
But there’s more. This fall’s ultimate "must have or you'll look like a total imbecile loser and everyone will laugh at you" piece is… wait for it…
Leggings! HA! That stretchy little piece of spandex that was every girl’s main wardrobe staple in the 1980’s is back! What a crack-up. I mean, no one looked good in them the first time around. Unless you weighed 92 lbs, had insanely good calf and thigh genes, and no cankles (condition where your calf and ankle are indistinguishable, they blend into one).
Someone at the L.A. conference asked me what I thought the hot new kid’s lit trend would be. After careful thought, here’s my conclusion:
Let’ s reject the trends! Chick-Lit one year, fantasy the next. Quiet books are out. Wait. Now, they’re back! Silly picture books? Sooo 2002! Funny middle grade? They don’t sell. Oh, yes. Now they do! Edgy YA? Yawn. Oh, wait. It’s selling like hotcakes again! Jeez. I can’t keep up.
Every year, we conference-goers are advised to follow the current trends. But by the time we get that trendy ms written, into the hands of the right editor, and into Barnes and Noble, that trend is long gone.
The good news is, write what you love and you can rest assured that your genre will pop up again eventually as the hot thing everyone wants. Luckily we writers only have to wait 3-4 years for our trends to recycle; fashionistas have to wait 20-25!
It’s a funny analogy to think about. I mean, will Harry Potter-esque fantasy be the leisure suit of the millennium? Will quiet picture books be like the skort…you know, designers try to push it on us every few years, but it never really sticks? Will edgy Chick-Lit be like hot pants? And in a few years, we’ll laugh and say, “OMG, I can’t believe I read that! What was I thinking?? It made my butt look so fat!”
Funny thing is that just minutes before I wrote this “reject the trends” blog, I was shopping online for…what else?
Leggings! True story.