Tuesday, January 12, 2010
GROWING AS A WRITER
I don't know about you, but I never want to stay in one place as a writer. I'm always reading a book on craft. Right now I'm going through Michael Hauge's The Hero's 2 Journeys again. It is probably the single most career changing lesson I've ever seen. It's a DVD/CD and has really opened my eyes to what makes a great story.
I love learning new things and pushing myself to improve. The first time I think I've "arrived" as an author is the time I need to quit. So it was fun for me to stretch into something new and different with The Lightkeeper's Daughter. I started out writing historicals. My first 4 novels were short historicals for Barbour that were set in the 1860s, but my real love is to write romantic mysteries. Several years ago, I asked my editor Ami McConnell what she thought about me writing a historical romantic mystery. The idea didn't grab her at the time, but last year she brought it up and told me to go for it. By then the idea scared me. LOL I had a growing readership and had settled quite comfortably into my niche. But I took a deep breath and plunged in. To my shock, I loved going back to the historicals. That's where I learned about the importance of setting and how to weave it into the story. It's where I learned to love research. I found I could write my trademark story, but just change the time period as part of the setting. The experience confirmed my love of learning something new too.
So what about you? Have you found your brand, your niche, or are you still finding your way? What have you been wanting to try that you've been scared to attempt? The first step might be sharing it here. Then take a deep breath and plunge in!