Writer Games. Mental Hopscotch. Rope-a-dope.

My brain is so excited. There are a number of thrilling things happening for my creative side these days. Unfortunately for the woman who must upkeep a life in the real world (also Me) it’s all kind of a bummer.

I’ve discovered the most beneficial tool in my writing arsenal is the ability to switch gears. This means the ability to transform from mommy-mode to creative genius and back again at the sound of a breaking glass or screaming toddler. I can cuddle up for a date night until midnight and then plot a murder until three a.m.. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s necessary.

The ability to do the mental rope-a-dope is a must have for writers, especially for those writing across genres.

I consider it a challenge. And I accept. *circles wrist* *takes a deep bow*

For example: I’m preparing to work through edits now on a sweet romance with a spring release. I’m also plotting and outlining a sequel to a cozy mystery.  Beyond that, I’m wrapping my head around the transformation of a SiFi YA to something more contemporary, and I have the story of my heart screaming to get out in the form of an edgy New Adult romance. Everything jokeys for position and as the writer, I have to prioritize. Make a plan. Stick to the plan. Tell the voices to take a number and get in line. They will be addressed – eventually.

I say all that to say this….

1. If you’re just beginning your journey as a writer, you will read about how “amateurish” it is to jump genres. I call bologna on that silly concept. As a former psych major and current people stalker, I say we are never just one person. We wear many hats every day and we have already experienced many different seasons of our life. How can a person be expected to contain all that life in one genre when their heart and head have other stories to tell? Hey, if you’re all in on one genre, fabulous. But, if you’re not…put your chin up and don’t be discouraged. You tell that story. Whatever genre it is, tell it with gusto and don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t.

2. Organizing the writer life takes a special skill most aren’t born with. If your writer life is more like a free-for-all than an exercise in precision, I say you’re on the right track. No worries. Learn to shrug and laugh things off. None of it matters anyway. Whatever. Do your thing.

3. Write the story of your heart. Don’t worry what other people think about it. Write the story you want to read. If that story is erotic today and zombie-filled tomorrow, who cares. Keep writing. You can and should express your ideas any way you like including as many genres as it takes. You have my permission.

4. Learn to adjust because right when you are six worlds deep in a new YA Fantasy manuscript you started last month, you’ll land an agent for the old world cobbler cookbook you submitted last year. It’s practically guaranteed.

 

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