I started with high fantasy, I wrote adventures, I wrote fairy tales, and then I found a passion for the world of cozy mysteries but with a witchy twist. (There was no way I was going to let go of the supernatural world entirely!) The point is, I applied The Spaghetti Theory; I threw all my writing up against the wall till I discovered my niche.
Yes, you can do this too. No, it will not kill your writing career. Yes, you can do it under one pen name. If you are an author who is just starting out or has been writing for a few years but is still trying to find an audience, then now is the perfect time to see what other genres you might like to write in. Many of them crossover too – sci-fi to fantasy, fantasy to romance, romance to humor, and so on and so on. In today’s world it’s easy to get lost in compartmentalizing everything, all the time, but if you haven’t found the subject matter you are passionate about yet then don’t be afraid to dabble in other areas that you haven’t tried before.
There are even Harlequin authors out there who realized that they made better mystery writers than romance writers. Yes, it’s true. That’s the beauty of writing – you are in control of what you create and the stories that you build.
Okay, great! Now what? My advice is to start by making a list (I LOVE lists but that is another topic for another day.) What books do you like to read? What genre do they fall in? What books get you excited and which ones do you secretly covet and wish you would write more like that?
Don’t just wish. Do.
Take a look at your list. Do you notice any similarities? Or are you all over the place in subject matter? That’s okay too. Can any of those genres be combined? Basically, you are taking a minute to not only think outside the box but to throw the box out and find different container for your creativity – OR – if you are really bold, who said you needed a container in the first place?
Start small. Keep it simple. Perhaps, by writing a short story in a genre that you haven’t dabbled in before. If you are fortunate enough to have a budding audience that follows you, ask them. What would they love to see you write? Compile all their suggestions and you may find that “aha!” moment among their answers.
I could tell you that the journey towards being a successful author is smooth-sailing. It’s not. I could tell you that in the age of the internet all the answers are at your fingertips and to an extent they are – but only to an extent. The reality in any creative process is it will always boil down to the creator and their passion, no matter how many social media accounts you have, no matter how many fans you have, no matter if you are putting pen to paper for the very time. You are truly the captain of your own ship. You will steer your destiny in the direction you want it to go. So, take the time to discover your passion, write out of your comfort zone, and try something new.
As for me, you’ll find Anna B. Madrise entrenched in Cozy Mysteries – Witch Cozy Mysteries to be precise. This is where my characters will be solving murders all with a magical twist. It took a while to get there but it was worth the trip. Give The Spaghetti Theory a whirl – the results might surprise you.