The Pain of Changing Genres: I Was Treading New Waters


It turns out I decided to make this post as part of Adriene’s monthly Sunday Blog Carnival.

Changing genres has been a reoccurring theme on this blog and it’s funny that I would bring it up again. It’s just that, yesterday I read this guest post on Agent Jenny Bent’s blog. The guest article was written by an author whose name is Jennifer Archer. Guess what? The article was about changing genres. She talked about what it was like, what it felt like, changing the genre she writes in and how afraid she was of losing her agent and publisher because of it. In the end, her agent–Jenny Bent–stuck by her side and she was not dropped by her publisher.

Although I don’t have the worry of losing an agent or publishing deal–as I have neither–I did reflect on my own creative circumstance. I’ve changed my genre and I’m not going to get into any detail. I’ve already done that. If you want to know the details, you can read this older post.

As a budding author starting out in her writing career, one would think that changing genres would be no big deal. After all, I haven’t built up a large readership, so who cares? And, common belief has it that if you want to strike it rich, you have to try different things. But, here’s the thing: It’s not ALL about the money. It’s about what I want to write. I’ve always believed in staying true to myself as a person and as an artist. I’m not going to write for current trends because trends come and they go. I want to write something that I’m passionate about.

I did just that with my first historical fiction book, Day of Revenge, but I was moved even more by To be Maria. So, why did it hurt to change my genre? Everyone in my family knows that I love history and so they naturally believed that I would stick with that genre. I even made it clear that that’s the genre I plan to write in. Until the story for To be Maria made a permanent home inside my head. I kept To be Maria a secret until a certain loved one (not going to mention names) overheard me reading a short excerpt to my brother over Skype. Over the next few months she tried to persuade me to give up the writing of my new novel. She also told me that authors don’t change genres. I should start writing my next historical fiction book and stick with that genre.

I couldn’t stop writing this novel as I was entrenched in it. I found my niche with young adult so I was not going to write another historical–not now anyway. But, I didn’t have this person’s support and that hurt. I also admit that it even took myself time to adjust to this change. I had changed my style of writing (for the better) but I was also giving up my old passion for something new. I was treading new waters, although not foreign to me, but foreign to my passion for history. I was a different person, though, so I needed to push myself in a new direction. I did and I am ever so thankful for it.

Stay tuned for part 2

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3 thoughts on “The Pain of Changing Genres: I Was Treading New Waters

  1. Thanks for this, De. I can relate. In fact I made a very radical change – from being a technical writer and editor to writing poetry. memoir, blog posts, and now I'm working on a historical novel. But, I'm so glad this is all available to me.
    I wish you great success in your new endeavor. Keep Writing.

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