It makes me a little worried about what my future prospects will be for publication. Who wants a collection of stories that are just like what's come before? As I attend grad school in the fall, I'll have to concentrate on making my writing not just competent, but unique. I want to keep my writerly integrity and write the way that comes naturally to me, but I want to push myself into new realms as well.
That's the challenge every writer seeking public success must face -- the struggle to balance what he/she wants to write with what he/she thinks people want to read. I want my stories to be memorable, engaging, and humanistic. I hope I can learn how to have these qualities while working within a fairly tame framework. After all, the writers I find most vivid and exciting write about fairly domestic subjects and without too much narrative experimentation. Dare I consider myself (one day) to be in their camp? All of us writers would do well not to sacrifice our integrity, because ultimately, our best writing will only come out of the times when we're writing what and how we want to write.