Genre Focus

The articles I’ve read discourage telling an agent you are interested in different types of writing lest it give the impression of being a dabbler rather than a focused writer. At the same time, I’ll certainly admit I hope to write in different genres! Still, I noticed something about myself that both made me laugh and further convinced me I have more genre focus than I might otherwise care to admit.

I have a blurry memory for visual details. It seems my brain is impressionist whether my tastes are or not!

Evidence

I went looking online to see what kind of vine/flower grows in a corner of our yard. (It’s been a mystery for a while now: drought resistant, rapidly spreading, dark green with purple flowers, and seemingly impossible to kill.) But when I looked at images, I drew an absolute blank! I had no idea how many pedals, their shape, their texture, or anything else. Purple. All I had was purple with green leaves.

And that, I suspect, is a limiting personality characteristic! How would I set a landscape scene in a novel? I daresay one can grow out of it, maybe through neat things like this that might introduce an artist’s visual perspective. (Do you know Churchhill took up painting late in life?)

At the same time, my focus rarely weakens in matters of a more theological nature. My reason, my senses, and all that I have get pretty wrapped up in any conversation, Bible study, meditation, devotion, or anything else on the topic. Topic. As though the intricacies of Christianity can be summarized in such a small word as topic!

Application

So I’ll work where I’m perhaps more in tune and hope to grow into other things later—or when opportunity presents itself. Perhaps it is a strength. Now that my dear one is about done with his writing project, I set my eyes on finishing up another children’s book (I’ll blog about that a little later.), before leaping into two other project ideas. I hope to focus on my strengths and branch out from there, rather than start from scratch with infinite possibilities weighing me down.

What about you? Did you gravitate early toward one genre? Have you noticed personality characteristics especially conducive to certain genre focus? I wonder if focusing on a particular aspect, like character psychology, landscape, or historical setting, would help a person find good writing exercises.

Whether you stay there or grow into additional paths, I hope you’ll keep writing!

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