I am reminding myself of this truth because I realized I was stuck in a rut, thinking about my own writing in certain terms. I write middle grade fiction. I would never write __________(fill in the blank here with a long list of no-nos). Or, try this one: I write fiction. I would never write nonfiction.
This summer, I am challenging myself to stretch for new audiences, new genres. I am writing an adult sff (science fiction fantasy—the abbreviation used by most in the field) short story. Whoa! Adult audience. Short story. Only the sff feels comfortable.
This summer, I am working on a book proposal for a nonfiction, nature book for middle grade audience. Now, I’ve done nonfiction nature picture books. But a book proposal? Middle grade audience?
Why stretch? Because I have gotten stagnant and need to find new enthusiasm for projects that I can write with passion. I didn’t have to change audiences, genres, forms, I could have just found a renewed passion for old paths. But as much as I like habits—and I really like my habitual world—I also like going new places and doing new things, as this photo proves. I think my writing needs that, too.
|Standing on the border between Poland and Ukraine, May 2013.
What about your writing? What bold new projects will you attempt?
Darcy Pattison blogs about how-to-write at Fiction Notes and blogs about education at CommonCoreStandards.com Follow Darcy on Pinterest.