Writing to markets

is asking about writing to market. My response was that I never write to market, except when I do. The exceptions are invitated or spec stories for tightly themed anthologies.

Writing to market feels wrong to me, but I’m not sure that’s not just a prejudice on my part. In other words, I’m not speaking from firmly held conviction, or even the certainty of experience. More often than not, when I write to spec I sell. So obviously it’s not a sin. I’m not sure I can articulate why writing to the Analog spec is bad but writing to the Lesbian Pirate Kittens vs. Zombie Santa Elves spec is good.

My usual explanation for that is that Analog and the other standing markets (to coin a phrase) don’t have tight specs. They certainly have targets — there’s very little overlap between Analog and Realms of Fantasy, for example — but there’s still a wide range of styles, themes, subjects etc. which are suitable. So I don’t feel like I’d be writing toward something that gives me an appropriate degree of definition.

I’m not sure this holds water for me, though. What’s your take?

And, because a poll is always good, a poll on this subject: