Anyone else out there among the #WritingCommunity ever been accused of being ADD when it comes to their writing? When the experts in publishing and writing are screaming (dramatic, I know) the importance of developing your own brand and focusing on one genre, I have found myself going against the suggested rule.
For marketing purposes, I understand it, really I do. When a writer is consistently writing in the same genre, it is easier to build a following. It makes sense, whether an author is self-published or traditionally published, the more you become known as an author of a specific genre, readers of that genre will seek out your books (hopefully). But I wonder how many of you suddenly find your creative mind veering off that set path, and then find yourself hesitating because of this suggested piece of advice: "Stay in your lane!"
Full disclosure, I am a rule follower — to a point. When an idea pops into my head, and lingers at the forefront of my thoughts, I feel compelled to write it. The excitement of delving into a new mode of writing can be exhilarating.
For example, I started writing children's stories for the children's page of a newspaper. This meant deadlines and limited word counts, but great feedback from readers. One woman even called every Koontz in the area to tell me how much she enjoyed reading the stories with her grandchildren. Maybe it was that sort of ego-boost that led me to try a new media — magazines.
One day, I noticed how much my Mom enjoyed reading the magazine Country. I thought how fun it would be to write a story with a familiar setting, her parents' barn. The motivation was the surprise on her face when she would see my story on one it's pages. With mixed emotions, however, the story was printed in another of the publisher's magazines, Country Extra. So of course, I was motivated to submit other articles and stories that were published in Country.
I'm really not clear how I decided to take the next leap toward writing a novel, but perhaps it was the desire to be challenged (or the ADD). Knowing this would be a huge learning curve, I enlisted the service of a developmental editor. Wise decision. Lauren Taylor Shute with #LTSeditorial guided me, and probably rolled her eyes at me on more than one occasion before #ShardsOfTrust was completed. Bolstered by this confidence, I flew solo on my next book, #TheCryBeyondTheDoor, which has been recently released.
But passing an old cemetery one day, once again I felt that tug of inspiration. I desperately wanted to use this to write a short story for the #SistersInCrime Indianapolis chapter's upcoming anthology. I recently learned it will be published sometime this year in a book titled Murder 20/20.
At least I stayed with suspense/mystery genre, right? Still, there was this story that my granddaughter and I had been tossing around, and who can pass up the excitement of a third grader? This time, learning site words was among the plethora of new items to tackle on yet another learning curve. And doing it all via long distance was not as difficult as I expected. It took extra time, but we developed a method for our cooperation, with ideas flowing back and forth. It was so much fun! So add a third grade chapter book to the varied list, as I begin the query letters.
Through it all, perhaps the best writing process, for me, is one that allows inspiration to lead the way. In the end, it's about writing what you love. What process works for you? I would love to hear about it. #ThursdayThoughts
— M.A. Koontz