Do you honor your jam?

I ask, because often, even as adults, we allow trends and friends to inform or threaten our jams.

I like futzing around on Photoshop with photos I took. It’s not a popular trend, and my compositions aren’t everyone’s jam. But the activity satisfies something in me, and I’ll continue to trust that intuitive impulse over trends and the disapproval of friends.

The Q&A at a writer’s conference I attended last year included a question that went something like this:

“So, what kind of thing should we be writing now? What is trending?”

I wasn’t surprised when most of the agents and editors rolled their eyes. The collective audible sigh expelled from both the audience and panelists.

The first answer: “By the time you know it’s trending, it’s too late.”

Another panelist called out the writer in the audience who had earlier expressed concern that her genre—historical fiction—is no longer popular. The panelist reminded us: “She received several accolades at the conference for her historical fiction submission and will leave the conference with signing options, not because her work falls within a trending genre, but because she followed her passion in spite of trends.”

Another panelist: “Figure out what your jam is. Write that. Put your heart and best into that. That’s what we’re looking for, not the trends. We’re looking for works that come from and speak to the heart.”

What’s your jam?

Not sure? Your intuition knows. Listen to your intuition, find your jam, and put your heart into it. Good advice for writers. Good advice for life.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2023.