Evolution happens in any creative art. Neither good nor bad, it reflects the changes in our culture. What I don't want to see: our training away from substance dictating the new forms. Do we want only literature that tells us what to think, rather than asks us to think deeply, reflect, mine the story for personal and universal meaning? Have our brains become too impatient for this?
Training away from meaning in school and the corporate world may not be stoppable. We're quicker now, flashing through our lives. Sadness is when the speed creates a sense of disconnect with art. When writers begin to think that appearance (proper punctuation, spelling, sentence structure) is more important to readers than what we have to say, we die a small death as literary artists.
Early in my teaching career, I came across the writings of Carol Bly, most notably author of The Passionate, Accurate Story. In that book, Bly tells about a young writer who tried to write about her parents' divorce and its devastation on her and her siblings. But before Carol worked with her, she had only received feedback on her mistakes in punctuation. Easy to see why this writer learned that how her papers looked was top priority--the substance didn't count.
Creative writing classes try to train back in the time it takes to understand meaning. Bly's classes were famous for this.
Are you coming from a school or business writing backward which values obtuse language over directness, appearance over meaning? I thought I'd escaped it in my school years only to encounter it in corporations where I worked: concerns over litigation ruled the page, when a company can't say what they mean. I learned to write a lot about basically nothing. Our words show up on the page, but they lack any sense of us. I had to relearn how to first find my meaning, then to write it.
Good books are made up of three equally important parts: content, structure, and language. Content is what's happening, the events, the characters or real players onstage, the setting. Structure is the sequencing of the content, how it flows to the reader, the order you present each event or information. The plot. Language is the appearance, the fine-tuning of voice, pacing, and theme.
If you zero in on language first--from your training that appearance is what counts--you may try to perfect one sentence, paragraph, page, or chapter, and never bring a book into being. You may never give yourself time to explore the substance of what you want to say, what means the most to you.
Allow yourself time to explore--without censorship--what you want to write about. What means the most to you. What you are passionate about. If that schoolteacher or boss in your mind whispers, "Watch out, that comma is in the wrong place" or "Terrible word choice, you must go back and find a better one now," first let yourself become aware of this critical voice inside. Acknowledge where it came from, where you learned it. Know that there is another way.
Take a creative writing class (emphasis on creative) and unlearn these awful rules inside your head. Know it will take time.