To stick to one genre….or not.

There is countless advice about sticking to one genre when you are an author – especially when you’re a new author. I can see the point in this. When you’re presenting stories to the world, you’re trying to rope in readers who like your writing. When you stick to one genre, your reader can be comfortable knowing what to expect every time you publish something new. They’re drawn to you because of something you gave them initially. If you fray from that, you run the risk of confusing your readers, and even turning them away.

I am a fiction writer. The genre I plan on sticking to is contemporary literature, occasionally dappling in magical realism.  I like writing about real life. And I love books that are based on real life but include a hint of surrealism in them. So that is the genre I plan to stay in.

Except, I didn’t start out writing fiction.

My first passion has always been personal stories. I began writing for the public over 10 years ago when I began chronicling my life as a mom. Back then it was blogging. But eventually, it turned into true articles for the newspaper. I have hundreds of these stories, and it seemed a shame to just let them be forgotten. So I began gathering them up to create books out of them.

The first one can be found as an eBook HERE, and it’s free today for Kindle.

Today I am also finishing up the final touches on a poetry book.

Wait, what? Poetry?

I always wanted to write fiction books. But when I hadn’t written much fiction, at least shareable fiction, my prose skills were a bit lacking. So to help me paint a picture with my words, I dabbled in poetry. I thought what I wrote would end up being totally ridiculous. But it actually turned out quite good. And now, I am making it into a book – even if this book ends up only appreciated by me.

(I’m not sure when I’m releasing this, by the way. I kind of want to get “Forever Thirteen” published next before I share anything else. Then again, this poetry book would make a great Christmas present…. So we’ll see.)

I get that the smartest thing I could do is write under one genre. But the thing is, I’m a writer. I love all things written. I see beauty in words. And I’m tired of keeping my own words under a rock. I hid them for too long. So while I am focusing on one genre, I am not being exclusive to it. This fiction writer has much more up her sleeve than a good, made-up story.

3 thoughts on “To stick to one genre….or not.”

  1. I think the people who give this advice–to stick to one genre–forget that writing is an art and an emotional endeavor and it can’t be confined to specific mediums and/or methods. Bottom line–writing is freedom and we should be able to explore our creativity in whatever way we see fit.

  2. This is an excellent post. I’m not sure what my genre is because I like to think “mainstream” (doesn’t everyone?) or “literary” …even “women’s fiction” is pretty generic and yet limiting to half the race! My editor and publisher listed A Place in the World as “romantic adventure” (but one critic objected that the romance wasn’t developed enough to call it that). I think a better description is “multicultural” although that doesn’t seem to be on ISBN or Amazon’s list.
    So conventional wisdom says I should write the next book in that vein, preferably set in Latin America again, and I have a couple of ideas I’ve started and yet find myself with a story in my head between California and Hawaii. So far it is a stalemate pulling me in three directions, but in the end I think the winner will guide me and I won’t have much choice.

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