June 19th, 2008

I’m frustrated because I just lost the post I was working on and I was three long paragraphs into it. Grrr…

I’d like to wish my Mom a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you and your new ‘bundle of joy’. 😉 I love and miss you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May you have many, many, many more. XOXOXO Love, Me.

Let’s try this again. As writers, we have to be chameleons. Publishing is a very volatile business. Like any other business, it must ‘adapt or die’. Writers need to do the same. I’ve been lurking on several writers’ loops that seem to have forgotten that simple adage. I’ve thought about speaking up and reminding the groups that, that was the case, but I didn’t. Why? Because as my dh so succinctly said this morning, “They don’t want to hear it.”

It used to be that an author would start out in a genre and take time to build their name before moving onto something else. This is still true to a certain degree, but it’s changing rapidly. Nowadays in order for an author to survive, they need to adapt—and diversify. If you aren’t making the same kind of money you were ten/fifteen years ago by writing westerns, then it’s time to write something else. It’s that simple and that difficult. People by nature don’t like change. I know I’m one of them. There are a lot of aspects of my life that I don’t like to see change in. Writing is NOT one of them. I get bored out of my mind writing the same kinds of books. That’s probably why I’ve published in four different romance sub-genres and I’m trying for two more outside of romance. I don’t consider this flighty. I consider it employable.

I guess that’s why I get so frustrated and downright bummed out when people talk about the good old days on the loops. I may or may not agree with their thoughts, but the bottom line is those days are OVER. Move on. Work with what’s in front of you and stop trying to cling to an out-dated model.

Now I’m off to get my word count in. I’ve managed nearly 7K in the past two days. I’m shooting for another 3 or 4 today. Got to love Fast Draft and earplugs. 😉

12 comments to “Chameleon”

  1. I wrote in other genres before I got published in erotic romance, so to me it’s just business as usual to write in other genres. I’m with you, it’s a time when diversification isn’t just nice, it’s necessary to ongoing employment.

    I think it’s easier to adapt and change with times if you know your core story and your strengths and capitalize on them. Know what you do well, and carry it over.

  2. Charli, Those are really good points. I don’t think a lot of writers know what their core story is or their strengths. But it’s time to find out. 😉

  3. Ah, Jordan a timely post as always. We must be on a similiar wave length…

    I have been thinking about this topic as well. And also have been dabbling outside the genre I mainly write. It’s write or die, I say.

  4. Vivi, As always…. 😉

    Yep, it’s adapt or become extinct.

  5. Happy Birthday, Jordan’s Mom. 🙂

    I think the primary benefit of diversification is that it increases your range as a writer. The more types of stories that you can write, the better the odds that you’ll sell. Being a multi-genre writer also enables you to write for multiple chunks of the market simultaneously, which (if you use multiple pseudonyms) is a backdoor way of defeating chains ordering to the net. I don’t think you can do any of that writing the same-old same-old.

    It’s tough to change, but times have changed, and so has the competition. I think it would be wonderful for us all to step into the wayback machine and zip back to the seventies or eighties, when all a writer had to do was write one thing very well. It would be like a vacation, wouldn’t it?

    But we live in the now, and the next generation of writers are not afraid to cross genre boundaries and experiment with new types of fiction. They’re also some of the best-educated, biz-savvy storytellers I’ve ever seen in my ten years doing this gig. So to chime in with you and Vivi, compete or die.

  6. Lynn, Thank you for the birthday wishes. 🙂

    ***backdoor way of defeating chains ordering to the net***

    I hadn’t thought about that being a good reason for diversification, but you’re right.

    It would be such a nice vacation. Sigh.

    Yes, they are some tough cookies. Must hang strong.

  7. Amen to that. People have been talking a lot lately about “the good ol’ days,” huh? I love that you write in so many subgenres. Let’s see… My ten completed mss. have been in five different subgenres, and I’m working on a new one in a sixth. 🙂 I also don’t consider that wishy-washy. I’m getting all my ideas out onto paper.

  8. I don’t consider it flighty at all. It’s the only way to write and stay sane. If a writer has a series going, which hits the best seller list the second a new episode is published… well… there are exceptions. 🙂

  9. Thanks for all the birthday wishes. My new bundle of joy weighs about 3 lbs.

  10. Catherine, Yep, there has been a lot of discussion on the various loops about the ‘good ol’ days’. As Lynn said, it would be like a vacation compared to the writing schedule writers keep these days.

    I think that’s a great way to look at diversification. 🙂

  11. Bernard, Yes, those exceptions do change the field a bit, but I’d hope that the writer would at least start something else for longevity sake.

  12. You’re welcome, Mom! She’s getting big fast. Must be all that ‘ice cream’ she’s getting. 😉