Friday, April 26, 2013

V is for Variety

I like to shake things up. As much as I LOVE to have a set schedule and a pattern to the way I do things, I really need a good amount of variety in my life.

I hear a lot of writers say things like, "I can only write on the computer." Or, "I have to use pen and paper when I write." Sometimes people ask questions about what the preferred method of writing an author has, and I have to say that I think it's a huge mistake to box oneself into a single creative process.

For me, I've found that each project is different. I write with pen and a  (legal size) pad of paper for my chopped line, 14-year-old girl story. I mostly typed my 16-year-old boy/Dare Devil story. I tend to only really write Adventures of Clyde the Duck stories when I'm on vacation or in the mountains (often the same thing). I write poetry in my journals. And I anticipate writing something solely on my old fashioned type-writer one of these days.

Other than writing methods, places, and times that all give variety to the creative process, I think it's also very important to seek out a variety of styles, genres, or themes. Every one of my projects has been vastly different from the last one, and despite how much it seems agents or publishers might not like that when it comes to marketing, I think it makes me a stronger writer to pursue variety.

Yesterday Jo and I finally got a bookshelf, so we set all our books out in piles of different genres. We've got picture books, middle grade fiction, young adult fiction, and adult fiction. We've got non-fiction personal essays, non-fiction nature writing, non-fiction about trees, non-fiction about the Appalachian Trail, and non-fiction personal growth/spirituality. Then, of course we have poetry. I don't think anyone's personal library could consist of any one genre, and I struggle to understand how any writers works could be limited to just one genre.

But maybe there are those writers who only write YA fiction. Even if a writer stays in one category, it's absolutely essential to add some kind of variety--maybe in style, format, point of view. I know that a huge part of my passion lies in YA fiction. Two of my novels are YA, but they're very different. One is is a chopped line form with few words and a lot of empty space to tell the story. The other is a little more conventional in form, but has a male protagonist rather than a female one, and addresses completely different social and emotional issues. The books I've got rolling around in my head right now are both very different genres, styles, and themes.

How do you like to spice things up?
What do you do to add variety to your writing?

Write on!


  1. I participate in the story a day in May challenge every year and try my hand at different genres with flash fiction pieces.
    Great post.
    New follower.
    My Blog

    1. Ooo! That sounds like a great idea. I need to look into that. Thank for the comment.

  2. Great post. I usually use my laptop, I try to change fonts. I have off late, started writing letters. So getting hold of some good stationery and pens.

    Keep going. Cheers


    A fellow A-Zer.

    1. At a writing conference I attended recently there was a guy who liked to write with actual feather quills and a jar of ink...That sounds like it would be a fun way to add some variety. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Sometimes I'll go sit in a new coffee shop, library, or restaurant. The change of atmosphere can be an inspiration! Glad to find your blog. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.


    1. Thanks for following, Sylvia! I feel really shy sometimes about going into a new coffee shop or restaurant to write. It always seems like such a fun, romantic idea, but I don't do it very often because it's so scary. I need to give myself more of a push to try new places.