Monday, November 2, 2009

I want it, I think?

Aprilynne Pike has a really good post here about goals and some of the reasons why people write books. It really got me thinking, and I realized that I hadn't set a particular goal for myself as far as my writing career. Yes, I've dreamed, but that's not always the same thing as setting a goal for the future.

So the wheels started to spin...

I started to consider the YA novel that's on submission with agents at the moment, the stories in progress, and some of my other ideas. I have a fun idea for a middle grade series that I've sort of dabbled in. I have a high concept YA zombie comedy/romance that is my current WIP, and the YA SF/dystopian I've begun and outlined (albeit loosely). I also have this children's fairy story niggling at the far corners of my mind, wondering when it's going to have the chance to shine forth. And there are the 2 non-fictions (yeah, I'm nerdy like that) that I've already got a good start on.

That's when I realized my problem: I don't know which kind of genre my break-out novel ought to be! I have multiple novel personality disorder* and it ain't pretty.

So what do I do? After all, it's very common for a writer to be pigeonholed into a certain category once their first novel comes out. Have I written a novel in a genre I could be happy writing in for the rest of my days? I honestly don't know. Without the benefit of an agent (for now, at least) to tell me where my strengths lie (and which story has the most potential), it can be difficult to know which direction to take.

However, the direction doesn't matter much if I don't know where I want to end up, now does it?

Well, I've got an awful lot of soul-searching** to do (um, or at least a little bit...) In the meantime, I'll just try and write the best novels that I can. I have a feeling my strengths and preferences will make themselves known in due time, but trying to set some concrete goals for myself certainly wouldn't hurt.


*I think I may have come across a new disorder, so does that mean I also have to decide if I want to publish in medical journals too?? I'm so confused...
**Sheesh, as if writing a novel wasn't hard enough - now I've got to think of all this other stuff?


Erin said...

I love your diagnosis. What's the treatment??? Makes sense, actually, since you obviously have such varied interests and well-rounded skills!

Thanks for inspiring with your tenacity. The whole publishing process is a vicious self-weed out ... but there is success to be had for those who persist.

I mean, I don't know that from personal experience ... yet.

I love reading about all that you've got going on because it inspires me to make the time to write. Good work!

Tracy said...

Hmm, treatment will require many hours of BIC (butt in chair) and typing, typing, typing! It may take a while, but theoretically, I've got nothing but time - you know, in between the cooking, cleaning, laundry and chauffeuring...

Thanks for the kind words. They mean a lot!

Terresa said...

You know, I used to think something was wrong with me b/c I've written (unpublished as yet) children's picture books, my current WIP is YA fantasy, & I have ideas for YA sci fi, too.

But think about Neil Gaiman. He's written everything from comic books to Juvenile fiction to adult fiction. You can do it all. Just find a jumping off point. Can't wait to read your books!!

Tracy said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Terresa. I have thought about authors like Gaiman who have been successful at genre-jumping. The trouble is, that there aren't many like him, and I feel like it's almost arrogant to dream of being in the same category.

That said, I would love to find myself in that sort of company and tend to imagine myself there anyway :) It's a fine line between confidence and arrogance, don't you think? (Mind you, without even so much as an agent on my side as yet, the humility comes rather easily...)