A little while ago I posed the question: should I focus on a single series or write a number of different things. I received several responses to my question, all of which I appreciated. The general consensus was that I shouldn’t limit myself, but write a number of different things. By doing so I stretch my writing muscles and I give myself the best chance to appeal to a larger group of people.
While I was considering the question myself I also came to the conclusion that not only should I write in multiple genres, but I should write many different things beyond that.
For example, I write this post every week which allows me to express myself in one way. I also write the copy for Get Published which takes me in a different direction. There is, of course, my fiction, and at work I write contractual language, project management plans and process documentation. As if that wasn’t enough, I do a few pieces of non-fiction writing every month or so for various places.
All though things mean that I am writing for multiple audiences, from multiple points of view in multiple ways (have I used the word “multiple” enough yet?). I can’t help but think that all that is useful to honing my writing skills.
It also means that I’m always writing, even when I don’t think I am. That’s good too because it helps to improve my vocabulary and feel for sentence structure and writing mechanics. All important stuff.
The downside to all this is it takes much longer to finish a project. Lots of irons in the fire means that my attention is pulled in many directions, not to mention my actual time.
Such is the life of a writer, I suppose.
So, my question to you is this: how do you stretch your writing muscles? I bet if you look you will find that there is more going on than you think. Do the quick exercise to find out and next time you are feeling badly about your own progress, remind yourself of how much you are actually doing. The self-congratulations vs. self-flagelation will be a step in the right (write?) direction.
I’m closing in on completion of my revising for my YA novel “The Mystery of Lake Chulala”. This is going to be the first in an ongoing Young Adult/Middle Grade series. I still have hopes that it will be available in May.