Monday, March 10, 2014

Taking stock

Lately, I've been taking stock.

I've had three contemporary young-adult novels published. All are realistic novels written in first person. Despite those similarities, I tried to cover somewhat different ground with each. I've written about romance and friendship and enmity, break-ups and make-ups, loss and gain, grief and joy. Some of the endings are happier than others. The parental characters run the gamut from neglectful to overprotective. The protagonists come from different socioeconomic backgrounds. I've used male and female narrators, past and present tense.

I could keep exploring these worlds--there are are more stories to tell within the territory I already inhabit--or I could try to break even newer ground.

I currently have nothing new in the publishing pipeline. So it's a good time to take stock. The question is: What next? And so this post by Kelly Bennett, part of Janni Simner's blog series on "Writing for the Long Haul" seemed rather timely. For example:
"After deciding that I wanted—want—to be a writer, I visualized what I wanted that new writing life to be."
"And while I don’t recommend doing anything as dramatic as calling it quits, I do suggest doing what I should have: in the same way you take your car in for servicing, schedule regular career check-ups."

It was taking stock a few years ago that led me from literary short stories to YA novels. I don't foresee a genre shift of this magnitude in my future right now, but it's good to ask ourselves, from time to time: Is there anything I want to try to do differently now?

2 comments:

  1. I have been kind of the opposite, I guess. I was ALL over the place with my genres and now I'm settling down into a more steady beat with what I'm writing. It is a very good thing, however, to stop once in a while to take stock, as you say.

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    1. Sometimes I'm so involved in driving this car that I forget to figure out where to take the next turn. ;-)

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