Should you write that novel or screenplay that's burning a hole in your head but probably isn't commercial, or should you opt for a safer story that doesn't ignite your passion as much?
In an interview on the Get Into the Story blog, screenwriter Gary Whitta had this to say:
"I think in the end, it’s a lesson that in trying to find that balance between creative and commercial appeal, you always err on the side of what excites you creatively. That’s the only way to write honestly. A lot of people like to chase trends. They see a hit movie, and then they want to try to emulate that movie. That does not feel creatively satisfying to me at all."
The lesson he refers to was that he wrote "The Book of Eli" as a spec script without discussing it with his agent or manager, thinking they'd talk him out of it since the idea didn't have obvious commercial appeal. Going with his passion paid off, since the movie was made, with Denzel Washington in the lead role.
He mentions a couple of other scripts that were much more obviously commercial and sold, but haven't been made.