Forget the girl who has no name. I’m the girl who has no genre. I have pretty much written in every single one known to man. Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Horror, Women’s Fiction, humour, Fantasy, Sci-Fi… Feel free to google it, but this is generally not considered to be a good thing. Particularly where marketing is concerned.
But you know what, I’ve decided to use it to my advantage. Writing, and reading, in different genres teaches you different things, and it only helps to make you a better writer. And THIS should be the ultimate goal – IMPROVING. Not winning prizes, not getting an agent, not getting published, not being bigger than JK Rowling or James Patterson… Just getting better.
ALL THE TIME.
Obviously, these things should start to come once you finally start to piece together all the things you learned along the way, but if you’re writing for the glory, then you’re standing on shaky ground, my friend. Because there will always be people who find something to criticise… other authors who are more successful… other authors with more acclaim. The only person you should be focused on being better than is YOU.
Therein lies true success.
All that being said, it’s still hard not to take a sideways glance at the other writers around you and wonder how exactly they manage to grasp something so fundamental that seems to escape you entirely. Like genre, for example. Why is it everybody else seems to know their own identity as a writer, when I have absolutely no frigging clue? I mean, none whatsoever. I’ve enjoyed writing every single story I’ve written. All the different people I’ve created. And all the different situations I’ve put them in.
So, how do I know?
Well, you could try doing a quiz, if you think that would help. Or you could try throwing a dart at a board. Or picking out of a hat. Though you may not get quite what you were hoping for…
But, the answer, for me at least, is that I will NEVER know. Not for sure. And that’s okay. In fact, in some ways, it’s even BETTER. Because, instead, I get to CHOOSE.
It’s daunting, I know. But it really is all in your hands.
So, it’s time you stopped asking what kind of writer you are, and started asking…