I'm always fascinated with American Idol contestants who defend their poor song choices by citing its message, sentimental value, or use of their song as a gift for a dear ol' family member. Idiots. You're a finalist in the mega-ball singing lotto and you choose a ditty Grandad played on the banjo beneath Granny's window instead of a song you genuinely kick butt singing? That's like giving Jerry Bruckheimer a cutsie homage to my kid instead of a script that will merit investing millions of dollars. I'm not giving an icon my most sentimental story to read. I'm giving him the best one.
I frequently talk to writers who admit to submitting: (1) tribute stories (2) partially fleshed out ideas (3) genres they're uncomfortable writing. All three are mistakes. They think it's an even trade off if the idea is commercial or high concept. I disagree. A poorly executed good idea is not better than a well executed mediocre one. Okay, yes, commercial and high concept ideas are more likely to be produced but poor writing will get tossed in the can. Oh, and here's a tip. Producers don't care who your story memorializes if it's not a good one.
This screenwriting thing we do is, sadly, not for everyone who attempts it but those of us who do take a stab at it need to execute well and come up with ideas people want to see onscreen. It's not enough to do one or the other. It's just not. "People" doesn't mean a thumbs up from your wife either. You gotta sell more tickets than one.
Often I'm told "well when you're a produced screenwriter, then I'll take your advice". Okay, that's cool with me. I'm not handing out advice anyway. I'm just making observations.