Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stretching Your Writing Muscles

This question was posed by one of my followers. (Sounds like I am leading a writing cult.)
“If a writer is writing every kind of genre, how do you know what genre your writing falls under and how do you perfect that? …I wrote a novel, [and] what I have always written and truly loved poetry. I have met writers who write sci-fi, mysteries, poetry, children's books, plays, songs, short stories, romances, etc. I want to get published and write great works, so can this happen if I am a Jack-of-all-writers?”

That's a huge, and timeless question. I’d like to open this up to YOU, and get YOUR feedback. Here is MY response.
First, write what you love. If you don't read sci-fi, or even like sci-fi, don't write it. It will never feel like it comes from a "real" place inside you. Most likely your writing will be formulaic, which might be marketable, but not satisfying to write.
The way to find your genre, or writing niche, is to write. Try writing something "out of your comfort zone." I used to regard myself strictly as a fiction writer, and I only wrote poetry for language practice. But then a funny thing happened; people liked my poetry, and I started getting a lot of it published.
I think of writing in a variety of genres is like cross training for a sport.
I never recommend writing just for market unless you write nonfiction

This was the complex answer. Of course the simple answer is: Read and Write. Then write some more, then read in the genre for which you write.


Happy Writing.


  1. I'm guilty of writing different things. Flash fiction, novels, children's stories and even dabble in poetry, though I am so not a poet. I write poetry as a way of extending my mind. The flash fiction taught me how to finish a story. I don't think I am a good writer, but I enjoy writing. I have found my voice in my stories and this is due to the fact that I write all the time. Writing all the time helps keep my mind free to focus on the novel I am writing, otherwise the voices in my head would overwhelm me.

    Rita L. Smith

  2. THat's bevcause the voices in your head are real. Your imaginary friends, or as normal people refer to as characters, are real. :)