Write what you like?

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Everyone’s heard the saying “Write what you know”, but more recently writing teachers and experts have been saying “Write what you like”. For a long while I’ve been taking this to heart and writing the genre of stories I most liked to read. Mostly light comedy love stories with fantasy elements. I liked reading comedy. I liked reading light romance. I liked reading fantasy. So, if I put these three genres together, I should be writing the best stories I could be writing, right?

img_0257Unfortunately, I’ve hit a awful lot of speed bumps along the way. The first one was comedy, I like reading it, but it’s a lot harder to write than it looks. Just because I think it’s funny doesn’t mean everyone else will. Romance was the next problem, my personal experience with romance has been pretty boring. I’ve never been in a relationship where someone vowed undying devotion or gave some grand gesture of affection. My life has been filled with little sparks of gentle warmth, endearing, but note exactly page turner moments. Writing fantasy has been my smallest struggle. My problem with fantasy is that I’m usually trying so hard to be original that my story just becomes kind of weird.

The end result of my writing attempts is usually good, but not as good as I wish it was. Strangely, my horror stories have been widely critiqued as being really good, much better than my fantasy stories. But I don’t really like reading horror that much. In fact, it’s been years since I’ve read a horror book.

IMG_0242So, when should an author consider changing their preferred genre? Should a writer write a certain genre just because they are good at it? Or should an author stay with their favorite genre to read no matter how long it takes them to become good at writing it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below.


P.S. I just added the photos because I thought they looked cool, no special meaning.


So class-ic!

IMG_0128So tomorrow I’m going to be starting my new writing class. I’ve never taken one before, and I have to admit, I’m a little nervous. I mean, I’ve taken required writing in school and that sort of thing, but never a creative writing class just for me. I’m not really sure what to expect. I think the part that makes me the most uneasy is the thought of sharing my work, with people I can actually see their expressions, and I can hear their voices. A tiny part of me is dreading that.

I remember in college, we would have weekly essay writing assignments and then every Friday selected student essays would be read out loud by the teacher (as examples of what not to do) and then the rest of the class would get a chance to pick out what was wrong with it. IMG_0207My essays would be selected by the teacher over and over again. It felt like it was every week, but I think I was skipped over a few times. After a while I started calling it the “shooting gallery” part of class. The teacher claimed that this critiquing was important to help students “grow”. All it grew in me was the crushing weight of self doubt.IMG_0166

But the class I’m taking now isn’t required and it isn’t going to be filled with wall to wall grumpy college freshmen, so I’m sure if there is any critiquing, it won’t be that harsh. Right? Heh, heh, heh.

I wonder if it’s too late to get a refund?