Lately I’ve been wondering a lot about myself: what kind of a person am I? What would I like to be perceived as? What am I actually perceived as? etc.
Writing about anything helps me understand the thing better, and gives me the clarity that is much-needed right now.
I’m trying to do this methodically and focussing on figuring out only one aspect of my life at a time.
Since my writing- style, genre, and all of that- is what got me thinking about this whole mess, I thought that’s as good a place to start as any.
In this particular post, I’m only writing about genre- that’s the part that has been bothering me the most.
I’ve always wanted to write a novel.
Ever since I learnt what a novel is, I’ve wanted to write one myself.
Therefore, as a kid, I directly started trying to write one.
With no knowledge about anything whatsoever.
As I started reading more and more books though, I realized that:
A. It’s not so easy.
B. Nobody just writes a book. They write one type of a book.
They either write for children or for teenagers for adults. They write fiction or non-fiction.
Then there’s various categories in those known as genres.
I realized that I’d have to figure out where exactly I’m trying to fit my story in. For that, I’d have to read a lot more than I had read back then.
I would also have to get better at writing a lot, and I’m glad that the blog helped me with that.
For a couple of years after various failed attempts at trying to write a whole, complete novel, I unknowingly stopped trying to write a novel and focussed on reading a lot and writing a lot, in general.
Now, I’ve been blogging for a while, have read a lot of books (lot more than I had when I started out, at least. I’ve still not read enough- but any number will never be enough) and I’m 18 years old, an official adult who wouldn’t change her mind about things quite as often as teenage-me did.
So I began wondering what’s stopping me from writing a book now.
Technical reasons such as lack of time and motivation aside, I realized that the only thing stopping me is my inability to take decisions.
I can think of 4-5 stories (just story ideas of course, none of them have a proper story line or a plot yet) that I have thought of writing, but I’ve never taken any efforts to actually write them.
Because I didn’t know which one of those to write.
You see, they’re all of different genres.
One is YA, another could be considered Chick-lit perhaps. One is a mystery/ psychological thriller, one’s a Sci-fi or fantasy, or something.
I don’t know which one to write because writing any of those will make me a writer of that genre.
That’s precisely what I don’t want.
I don’t want to be a YA author, or an SF writer.
I read all of those genres (I have read a few books in each of them, at the very least), therefore I want to write all of them.
J K Rowling first wrote Harry Potter but then she thought she wanted to write a mystery series so she did that under a pen name.
One of the reasons was, of course, that she didn’t want the pressure of writing something as brilliant as Harry Potter but another was also probably the fact that she was venturing into a new genre.
I don’t know any authors who’ve written a lot of different genres- they stick to their own. Sure, they experiment with the sub-genres and stuff, but I don’t know anybody who first wrote chick-lit and then switched to Sci-fi (something extreme like that, I mean).
[Actually, while we’re on the topic, if you do know about authors who’ve done that, please mention some of them in the comments]
Do any of you face the same problem? (I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one)
Everybody I know who writes, also reads a lot.
And they read a lot of different stuff.
And are inspired by all of it to create something of their own.
Most of them have already started writing their first novel, some of them have had it published as well.
My question to you is, how do you know that this is the story you want to write?
Does it depend on your style of writing?
Or the genre you read the most?
If you’ve already started writing, say, a romance novel, aren’t you scared that someday if you choose to write a mystery, you would already be stereotyped as a romance writer and nobody would take your mystery novel seriously?
I realize that this problem could be (temporarily) solved if I tried writing all the genres that I wish to write and see what works for me.
But I get the feeling that that’ll be even worse… if I do end up finding out what I can and cannot write, all the genres that I’m hopeless at writing will always make me feel inadequate as a writer.
The thought that I may close off those metaphorical gates to writing other genres because of my inability to write them scares me even more than not knowing which I should write first.
I don’t even know where I’m going with all of this.
I don’t specifically want suggestions to solve the problem, but I’d like to know your opinions and thoughts on the topic.
Basically I’m just hoping to have a discussion about the topic with some of you and gaining some insight of some sort.
Any kind of responses are welcome.
You could tell me that I’m stupid and a coward and am only making excuses instead of actually doing any writing (the thought did cross my mind too) and that’d be fine with me.
Because, even if that is the case, I’d like for a few people to explicitly tell me so.