Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Variety is the spice of a writer's life

Think of Stephen King and you might thing “horror novels.” Think of Quentin Tarantino and you might think “movies.” Think of Peter Bowerman and you might think “copywriting.” But when it comes to me? Well, I may have spent a lot of time writing about the paranormal. I may have made being a writing parent a Big Deal. And I may have spent years writing for a newspaper for the deaf. (And wrote a book on deaf parenting.) But I cannot be known for just one thing. I don’t think that, as a writer, I’ll ever be known for one thing.

I try to do different things with the writing. A lot of veteran writers may not approve of this. The thinking goes that a writer, or even an author, should stick with one thing. Become known for one thing. That one thing could be “copywriting” or “scriptwriting” or “novels.” But the truth is, I could never just do one thing or write one thing. For as long as I have been writing, I have written a variety of things. I’ve written short stories, poems, articles, essays, plays, books, etc. I can’t just write only one thing. And, yes, I’ve even done the copywriting thing – once. (Someone once asked me to write some copy for their campaign. I got a free T-shirt out of the deal.)

It’s actually kinda fun writing a variety of things. I love writing poetry, but I love writing fiction, too. A nonfiction book is always an interesting challenge, and because they are on a variety of subjects, I tend to learn something new as I write them.

Another thing I like about this set-up is that I can explore one of my interests or write a story based on something from my life. All of the books I write are a result of something from my life or something about me. I write about the paranormal because I have had experiences with ghosts and a haunted house. I write about writing because, well, I’m a writer, and something from my experiences as a writer will inspire a book. Almost all of my novels are based on something that happened – Shadow of Samhain from a dream experience; my forthcoming novel, Faded Reflections, from my own experiences as well as a song; another novel I’ve yet to send out based on a character my daughter created. All different types of books and all on a variety of topics that cannot really be grouped under one category. But they’re still books I want to write.

And also with the novels: Sometimes they are inspired by a dream or the story just pops into my head. I have written short stories that were based on dreams. And no matter how different the genres may be, even something that I don’t usually write (like romantic suspense), I’ll write them, anyway, because that desire to write the story will be too strong to ignore.

And as long as I write them, I'll keep sending them out. It's a nice surprise when there is a publisher who will accept the story or book. That's a pretty good sign that I managed to write this kind of book or story, etc., pretty well. And that's a great feeling.

The books and stories may all be of a different genre or a different topic, but they’re the things this writer wanted to write, anyway. I won’t be known for writing just one thing. I’ll be known for writing different things and different kinds of books. Why would I want to be like everybody else and only do one thing, anyway? Why would I want to write only one thing? I’ll do lots of things and write lots of things. Life is a little more interesting that way.

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