I’m so sorry I haven’t been as diligent about maintaining this blog as I would like. There have been so many changes in my life over the last few months, none of them epic, but all of them good. Unfortunately, they’ve upturned my routine in a major way, and it’s taken some time to adjust and rediscover my balance.
Anyway, one of the things I’ve been meaning to write about for a while (but never have) is how important for us as writers to take chances and remain flexible in our writing. It can be so easy to hem ourselves in by our own successes, to put limits on what we think we can write. But that’s a mistake. Writing is a skill, and like any other skill, it has multiple potential applications, all of which add to our overall ability. A piano player might have spent years learning the intricacies of classical pieces, but that doesn’t mean they can’t (or shouldn’t) try their hand at playing Jazz.
The same thing is true for us as writers. You may write primarily in a specific genre or on a specific subject, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. It’s good for your brand, it’s good for your name-recognition, and it’s great for your reader-potential. But just because you’ve found something that works doesn’t mean you shouldn’t branch out from time to time to stretch your creative muscles.
I’ve been doing a lot of that this year – writing in genres and forms that I’m less familiar with. I’ve been writing skits for my church, articles for a few blogs, children’s stories, and even a ghostwritten manuscript. It’s mean that other writing projects (like this blog, for instance) haven’t been given my full attention. My word count for the book I’m supposed to be writing this year is pitifully low. But you know what? I’m having fun. It’s been great to stretch myself outside of my comfort zone and see what I can come up with when I dive into a completely different creative field.
In fact, just a few weeks ago I got an email from my BFF/SNOO (Best Friend Forever/Support Network Of One), with a request. She wanted me to help her write a screenplay for an announcement video. Her concept was awesome, and I found myself instantly full of ideas. It took us less than a day to write up a final draft of the script, and she finally posted the video to youtube today! It actually turned out better than I’d imagined!
Want to see it? Check this out: