One Writer’s Journey

January 8, 2015

Why You Should Write in a New Area

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 12:36 am
Tags: , , ,

dareNow that you’ve come to terms with yourself as a writer, do you know what kind of writer you are?

For some writers, this is easy.  They write picture books but never, ever novels.  Or they write novels, but not nonfiction.  They write fantasy but no way would they write science fiction.

If you are one of these writers, I’d like to challenge you to try something new.  If you are one of these writers and haven’t had your “big break,” I double dog dare you to try something new.

Some time ago, I interviewed young adult romance writer Simone Elkeles.  You can read the question and answer piece I wrote for WOW here.  One of the things that Elkeles told me that really hit home was that the had been writing adult novels, none of which had sold.  When she read a Chicago Tribune article about making a living as a young adult novelist, she decided to give writing for teens a try.  As she wrote her first book, something clicked.  It went down easier than anything she’d written before.  The voice felt right.

At the time I wrote the interview Elkeles had 5 books in print or coming out.  She now has 10 books not counting German additions of her US titles.

Have you found the type of writing that just works for you?  If not, why not try something new?  Like Elkeles, you may find you have the perfect voice for middle grade, young adult or new adult.





  1. Have you ever talked with anyone who wanted to write, felt called to write a specific style of writing, but had a lot of resistance to it?

    Comment by calensariel — January 8, 2015 @ 2:14 am | Reply

    • Not that I recall. I’ve known people who felt compelled, or had an idea for, a specific story that they resisted. What are you called to write that you are resisting?

      Comment by suebe — January 8, 2015 @ 4:12 am | Reply

      • I’ve been journaling for years and am really comfortable with my style. (an example, The Sparrow, is here: Then during NaNoWriMo 2013 I wrote a manuscript for a Gothic mystery. I’m at about 89,000 words and editing. It was such a great learning experience, and I love messing around with writing prompts and such. But I’ve really gone through a faith struggle the last several years, grappling with all kinds of beliefs I just took at face value until my family really hit a low point in our life. I’m trying desperately to reconcile my thoughts, to be totally honest with myself and others, and still come out on the other side with my faith intact, albeit morphed into something . . . Don’t know what. Family and friends are pushing me to write about it in that style of journaling, but I just hit a wall when I think about sitting down and doing that. Not sure whether it’s because I really hate most Christian writing I’ve read or what. Lame, eh?

        Comment by calensariel — January 8, 2015 @ 5:43 am

      • Two thoughts on this:
        Some projects I adore from start to finish. I am passionate about them and hold them close. These are often the most difficult because any criticism brings me to a befuddled hault. Then there are the projects that I like well enough and I enjoy doing but they aren’t the ones that hover in my thoughts. I always find something in these latter projects to love, but it isn’t the same. I think that’s pretty normal. Or at least I hope it is.

        Something as near and dear and personal as faith can be incredibly difficult to write about. I’ve written prayers. I’ve written blog posts (see the prayer blog I write with two friends, But I too find a lot of Christian writing hard to get through. Given my personality, most of what I find to read is too sweet to feel real or high and mighty, neither of which appeals to me.

        If you do want to try writing about your faith journey, you might try devotionals. They are short and person and, the ones I like anyway, deal with exploration and discovery. If you’d like to discuss this, let me know.


        Comment by suebe — January 8, 2015 @ 3:35 pm

      • ” Given my personality, most of what I find to read is too sweet to feel real or high and mighty, neither of which appeals to me.” Yes. That’s exactly right. And I deplore Christian romance. (Though I’ve recently discovered Jody Hedlund and K.M. Weiland through their blogs and enjoyed a book by each.) I would imagine a lot of the resistance I feel to writing about this is the plethora of Christian self-help books I’ve read to become the Proverbs 31 superwoman. When I think now of how many of them I gobbled up in my sincere effort to be who and what God wanted for me, I get angry because they put forth an image that no one can live up to. So maybe it’s just that writing something like this seems too close to that genre for me. Our small Christian Reformed church closed ten years ago and we ended up settling into a Methodist congregation. Opposite ends of the spectrum. I love it, but must admit it came at a bad time and made things more complicated. It was like moving from a house with a fenced-in backyard where you knew where all the boundaries were to one with no fence, where you were free to roam the neighborhood and ask questions. Just seems like it all piled on top of me at once.

        I stopped by the prayer blog and loved it. I’ll be following along on there. It feels just right for me. As to discussing this, I really have no clue what else to say. Maybe I just need to wait until the “crisis” has passed and I’ve gained some kind of firm footing. We’ll see. In the meantime I’ll be playing around on here. Thanks so much for responding. Your comments set my heart at ease some. Almie! (“Blessings” in Elvish)

        Comment by calensariel — January 8, 2015 @ 4:34 pm

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