I listened to a great podcast from Writing Excuses the other day. It was on Pigeon Holes and how many writers decide on a genre they want to write and stick to it like glue, never branching out.
I've been thinking about this a lot. (You can find the episode Here. Just push the play button at the bottom of the post.)
Jonathon Maberry joined Mary, Dan and Howard on this episode and he talked about the importance of writing for many different markets. Jonathon has written everything from Shoebox Greeting Cards to YA dystopian to text to the back of Burpee Seed Packets.
I was so impressed with his versatility!
Right now I'm writing a middle grade fantasy novel which is the first in a series. I didn't plan on writing a series, but because of the problem in the first book there would need to be more books to solve the overarching problem. But I'm not going to write the rest of them until something happens with the first. No sense wasting all that time, right? And...there's another story idea that keeps tugging at me.
Okay. I've gotten sidetracked.
Anyways, I started out writing poetry and picture books (doesn't everyone start with writing picture books??) I sold a bunch of poems to The Friend (although they've only published two) and I came super close to selling a few of my picture books. Oh! So very close. It was sad.
Then I started down The Novel Path.
And I tried to do everything for awhile. I'd work on the novel. And then the picture books somewhat. And scribble out some poetry here and there. I felt like I was trying to go down too many paths at once!
I gave up on the picture books and poetry and focused on the novel writing.
Every now and then I think about my abandoned projects. I think a few of those picture books have some real potential.
But I don't know if I have enough brain space.
And then there's the fact that as writers we're often told we should find our niche and stick with it. Focus! Our name is our brand. And all that jazz.
But I also agree with Jonathon that it's important to be a diverse writer. It takes a long long time to finish a novel. I'd love to have poetry and picture books out there circulating and possibly getting published. Or maybe even try my hand at writing short stories for magazines.
So, what about you? What do you think about this notion? Do you write one thing? For one genre or age group? Or do you have your hands in multiple writing pots?