When you’re an author, and you want to start a blog, the advice you hear the most is to have a “theme.” In other words, if you write historical novels, keep your posts along a historical vein. Do you write murder mysteries? Maybe something about true crime to keep your readers entertained! I let myself become bogged down about what my “theme” should be many times. Do I primarily write romance? Ehh… What about murder mysteries? Well, I’ve written the first in a series… Chick-lit? Historical? Young Adult? Paranormal? Fantasy? I felt like I could have touched on any and all of them, and yet none of them were the right fit.
So instead I continue to blather, while I keep waiting for the Magical Overall Theme of this blog/journal/venting space to fall into place.
And then I realized… what if this is my theme? What if the subject I’m most well-versed in is… random crap? It’s as if all those years of trouncing everyone at Trivial Pursuit has finally paid off! I can switch subjects in search of that Daily Double as fast as Ken Jennings! I’m amazing!
Or… just unable to focus on any one thing at a time. That could be a part of it, too.
Funny enough, my writing does reflect that. I’ve been told to keep my writing in the same genres so as not to alienate readers and to help build my fan base. Unfortunately, I have a really terrible time with writing the same type of story in succession. Not that I’m accusing books in the same genre of all being the same, but that the way my brain works, once I’ve finished a book in a certain genre (let’s say… Victorian-era murder mystery) I immediately want to take a Monty Python leap to something completely different. Like a young adult Dystopian fantasy. Or a short story based loosely on Celtic myth.
I read the same way. If I keep reading books from the same genre, one right after the other, they start to cobble together into one long story in my head and I have difficulty differentiating between them later on. So I’ll read a Regency-era romance. And then I’ll pick up Shakespeare. And then I’ll read a mid-grade fantasy. And then I’ll palate cleanse again with some Terry Pratchett or Emile Zola.
So am I alienating readers when I do this? I can’t say that I don’t care. I do care. This is my job, to write and publish and market myself and gain readers who will – hopefully? – purchase my books and then tell their friends about them and then continue to buy all of my books as they’re published so I can then send my children to college or finance their trip to outer space (I feel fairly confident that by the time my children are old enough for college, space travel will probably cost about the same). But I also don’t want to pare down what I write – what I want to write – in order to please others, and most importantly risk forming a grudge against my work because I’m forcing myself to pen stories that fit inside a certain framework or will come up on the same “Customers Also Bought…” searches on Amazon.
And so here I am, rambling again on my blog, jumping from subject to subject without any clear direction or end game in sight. If you’ve stuck with me this far, thanks. And fair warning, it probably won’t become organized from here on out.
P.S. Buy my books. Astronaut ice cream is pretty pricey.