I write several different genres. Is this a mistake? Perhaps I should focus on a single genre and get that one perfect before I try to do anything else.
There’s a problem with this idea: money. I want to make money as a writer – no, I want to make a living as a writer. A decent living. Not a scratching around for every penny living.
Yes, I am that kind of writer. To some, that may make me a less worthy writer, than those who write simply for the joy of it, or those who write to increase the beauty in the world, for a purely altruistic purpose.
I don’t understand these people at all. Writing is writing, no matter the purpose behind it, and every writer is equally worthy of merit.
Back to my topic: I am in the business of making money. How to do this? There are many ways, not all of which will work, or work for every individual. Personally, I write what publishers want. And that happens to be many different things.
For example, I am currently editing a junior fiction or early reader story. It has been a new experience for me but one I have greatly enjoyed.
I also write children’s picture books, an extremely difficult task. I find the story ideas come thick and fast, but the transformation from idea to polished story is one that continues to challenge me. The wording, the pace, the rhythm, the amount you can say versus the trust you must place in your illustrator. I work with the credo ‘words, rhythm, character’ running through my head. Plot is secondary to a good picture book, a lot of the time. The last phrase is the most important, however: for every hard and fast rule of picture book writing there are many successful exceptions. It’s enough to drive you batty.
Then there are the short stories for adult audiences that I love to write. These are my babies, and I truly love to write them. But the voice for these stories is so very different from either of the above genres that it takes a conscious effort to return to it.
What do you write? Do you specialize or dip your toe in many waters?