When What You Read Isn’t What You Write

I had a revelation recently, and it took some time for me to come to peace with it. But now I have, and I think I’m better off for it. Maybe time will tell even more, but I feel better. I feel like I’m past the time of confusion and frustration, and bound toward a more hopeful future.

So what in the world was my revelation about?

Writing, my friends. Writing and genre and how it’s okay if you don’t read what you write.

Let’s back up; here’s what my situation was. A few years ago, I rediscovered my love of reading (when I finally had more time to read, around the time I first started this blog). And I absolutely DEVOURED a number of popular fantasy series from the past few years that I’d missed out on during my dry spell (*cough*and everything Brandon Sanderson ever wrote *cough*). I became obsessed with fantasy novels, and rightly so! They were and are amazing! I got a ton of delight out of reading them.

Not only that, I would finish a book and feel inspired to write something so amazing, something that could evoke such deep feeling from a reader. That itch grew and grew until finally I tried to take up writing again. I started to develop a book idea involving time travel and a fantasy world. I wrote a few thousand words.

And then I hit a wall.

It just wasn’t working. I felt lost with it and couldn’t see myself moving forward with it. So I set it aside, and well, a few months later, I went through the same cycle again: developed an idea, wrote a bit, and eventually realized it was NOT working for me.

I was honestly sort of crushed. I wanted to write–it’s always been a dream of mine to be a published writer, and I desperately want to make it happen! But how could I do that if I couldn’t even write the first few chapters of a book I spent months planning? Even worse, I knew what it was like to plan a story and write it as if the words flew from my mind onto the page, with no problems, an endless flow of inspiration, and great joy and satisfaction when I wrote the final word. I wanted that again. But how to get it?

I didn’t realize how until I took a step back. My best writing experiences, to date, have come when I wrote contemporary fiction. I absolutely¬†love fantasy, reading and watching, but I don’t think I have the right brain to conceptualize a brand new world and pull it off satisfactorially. So, I thought, what if I went back to contemporary fiction? What if, instead of the epic fantasy and extreme worldbuilding and complex magic, I dialed it back to family drama and coming of age and sweet romance?

The outcome? A happy Brianne.

I’ve been working on my new project during the month of April, and I feel like if I haven’t quite recaptured the pure joy I’ve experience while writing on the rare occasion, I’m damn close. Writing these past two weeks has not been a chore, it’s been exciting and fun. I set a goal of 1,000 words a day, and it’s never been easier to crank that out in half an hour before work every morning. I almost can’t believe how easy it is.

But that’s what has proved to me that it’s all okay. Maybe it’s even meant to be. I can love fantasy novels, and I can write contemporary fiction. What I learn from and enjoy in the fantasy genre, I can still apply to contemporary fiction to infuse a new flavor into it. You can learn about craft and good storytelling from any genre.

So, my opinion? Write what you want and read what you want, if that’s what makes you happy.

Someday, I hope I’ll be able to pull off an epic fantasy novel, but for now, I’m happy right where I’m at.

What are your thoughts? Can your reading genre and your writing genre be completely different?

Until next time,
Brianne

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so, how have i done so far?

General update

Hellooo from the land of NaNoWriMo 2017!

I thought I’d share an update from the trenches, since I really haven’t been around much lately. NaNoWriMo has been basically as predicted: time-consuming, crazy, challenging, and many other not quite positive things. As you’ll see below if you keep reading, I actually started off fairly strong but let things slip more recently, due to various Real Life reasons.

Mainly, the exhaustion of starting a new job and finishing some crochet projects for my cousin’s baby shower were my obstacles during these first ten days. But I’m still determined to plug on! I’ve definitely made good progress so far; I’ve already written more than I did last year. So that’s a success! Hopefully I will have more of those as the month goes on.

Continue reading “so, how have i done so far?”

i’m getting ready to write my face off | nanowrimo 2017

Hello, all, and welcome to my super obnoxious post about NaNoWriMo 2017! Woooo!

Okay, but really this post is going to be quite long. I want to vent and squeal and gush about NaNoWriMo, but I also don’t want to post a thousand posts about it and be a total nuisance, either.

(But let me know if you’d be interested in that. Like…would you all hate me / unfollow me if I did weekly reports during November???)

So here’s my big round up post for NaNoWriMo 2017. I’ll share the basics, post pretty aesthetic pictures, and of course, do some tags.

my novel

As I mentioned in my quarterly goals post last week, I am planning to continue (and hopefully finish!) my current WIP for NaNoWriMo this year. Here’s the lowdown on this project:

  • Title:¬†Do Not Go Gentle
  • Current word count: 49, 374 words
  • Started: March 2016
  • Chapters written: 11 out of 16 (ish??? they’re long)
  • What it’s about: dragons, love, friends, overcoming evil…y’know, the usual

Hopefully that gives you a lil picture of what I have going on! As you can tell, I’m not sure if I’ll even need 50,000 more words to finish this WIP, since I only have about 5 more chapters planned. However, A LOT need to happen in those chapters. Plus, if I finish those, chapters 7-11 need heavy revision, so I think I’ll keep plenty busy during November, even if I don’t reach 50k.

Right then. Read on for some taggy tags and questions!

Continue reading “i’m getting ready to write my face off | nanowrimo 2017”