Insecure Writer's Support Group: Genre Woes
A bit late, but -whew!- still made it! I promise to stop by to read some of the other inspiring posts :). If you're not a member of the IWSG, go visit Ninja Captain Alex. He'll show you what to do!
What are my current writerly insecurities? Well, to be honest, I am always second guessing what I write. Not the stories themselves, but the general direction all my stories tend to go. The basic genre in which I write. Imagine if you will, you're at a party. Someone comes up to you - someone you've met before but don't really know well- and they ask, "So, how have you been?" "Good," you answer. "Staying busy, working, writing, the usual." "Oh?" Their left eyebrow goes up. "What do you write?"
I tend to answer this question with a hem and a haw and a look-anywhere-but-at-the-asker expression.
"Oh, I -ah- I write speculative fiction."
"Oh. What's that?"
"Um-ah...horror. I write horror."
There are three reactions. First, I get the, "Oh. Nice. Ah, excuse me." reaction. Then there's the, "Why?" which I actually love because you can scare them further. And every now and then you get, "Cool!" but nothing more.
My insecurity in this department stems from the fact that I have always cared waaaay too much of what people think of me. And I hate explaining myself to anyone. I don't think everyone needs an explanation but everyone usually demands one. Ugh. How do I get around this?
For starters, stop caring so much what people think. Easier said than done, but I have made tremendous progress over the past few years. I can surround myself with like-minded individuals which sounds great but is also easier said than done where I live. The best piece of advice I can give myself (and anyone else struggling with the genre woes) is this:
Write what you must, do it every day, become the best you can at it, and submit, submit, submit!
Getting a short story published or the coveted book contract may not cause people to like what you do any more or less. However, it does lend a bit more credibility TO YOURSELF. Even if you submit a short story to the local paper for no financial compensation, you are a published writer and no one can take that away from you.
Don't give up. Cliche, I know, but true. Just keep writing what's in your heart to write and you will be a success...
...whether anyone else likes it or not!
TELL ME: What do you enjoy writing? Have you ever experienced genre prejudice? Have you ever tried writing in a totally different genre than what you normally write in? Do you honestly NOT care what people think and if so, HOW did you get to that place in your life?!?