Usually I write a short story and then try to find a market for it. By nature I’m more a pantzer than a plotter. I don’t trust myself to spill a good tale unless it starts from the font of inspiration.
Many of these “inspired” stories eventually found homes. But waiting for a muse can be limiting. Jack London once remarked: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Last year I got out my club. I tried writing to specific prompts and for specific markets. My success surprised me.