I am definitely not a trendsetter. I'm sure I follow trends, however, though I've always been uncomfortable being obvious about it. In high school, for example, if someone had the same shirt or same pair of jeans, I retired that item of clothing, too concerned about being exactly the same as another person (while desperately trying to fit in at the same time—go figure). Today, I am less concerned about either following the pack or setting the pace. I'm generally happy to fall somewhere in the middle.
Here's where I weave in that other Hunger Games related post I mentioned last week. I'm a huge fan of the series. I read The Hunger Games when it first came out and adored it. My daughter's favorite book series is Suzanne Collins' The Underland Chronicles, so I was excited to read something of hers and to fall so deeply in love. As time went on I grew to resent her and the book a little. I had two ideas for novels when I started NaNoWriMo 2010. I put my a semi-dystopian/civil war themed book on hold because I needed more time to develop some of the ideas. I spent the next year finishing and editing my Nano novel. By the time I was ready to pick up my other idea I realized the market was about to be completely saturated with dystopian novels.
Because my hard drive is full of other novel ideas, I keep moving my first idea to the bottom of the list. I'm almost afraid to write it because not only is everyone probably tiring of the theme, it would be difficult to avoid the common memes of the bazillion other dystopian books.
People keep telling me to write what I need to write, and I get that. I will write that book someday. As an insecure writer, though, I worry about writing with trends and/or against them. I suppose just like fashion, I'm somewhere in the middle.
How do you find that balance?