Who we are affects everything we write. Who we are isn’t a nice homogeneous set of emotions, experiences, and beliefs. We are a mixed bag, a diverse assortment of thoughts emerging from all that we are. For authors, this is our tool chest. It allows us to step into the hearts and minds of multiple versions of protagonists, antagonists, and supporting characters. It allows us to tell stories that are only limited by our imaginations.
So, why am I saying all this? It explains for me why I have never been able to abide by the “rule” that a writer should pick a genre and stick with it. This was especially the expected behavior a couple of decades ago when I started seriously writing. However, I still see the idea being put forth in author groups.
As with most paths we follow, there is a learning curve as a writer. When I started out, I tried to be open to the accepted wisdom, but I felt like I was wearing a strait jacket after a while. I gradually realized that my inner muse was not happy. Trying to fit in wasn’t working for me. It might have something to do with my being an Aries, but I prefer to claim I was choosing to err on the side of my muse.
Now I write whatever I want to write, both fiction and nonfiction. Because I have a lengthy background in metaphysics, seven of my books have elements outside accepted reality. These elements usually give my characters an opportunity to step outside their norm and risk, resulting in changes in their physical and/or psychological lives.
One of my books, Circles of Freedom, grew out of the political turmoil that had erupted at the time. When the Walls Come Tumbling Down, although fiction, emerged from the grief I was experiencing after the death of my husband in 2020. Likewise, I compiled a number of free verse expressions that grew out of my twelve years of caregiving for my husband titled The Journey of a Caregiver. It is a free download on the Well-Being page of www.SassyScribblers.com, the website I started with Greta Burroughs to showcase our books and interact with readers.
Sweet & Sassy Scribblers developed from the camaraderie between Greta and myself. We had known each other for years on Facebook. When my husband passed away, I was struggling. When I saw the announcement that Greta’s husband had passed away as well, less than two months after mine, I opened myself up to my intuition. I wasn’t certain how she would respond to my offer to join forces, but it has worked out well for us both. The kinetic energy resulting from our interactions, our brainstorming, and mutual support has been a blessing.
The bottom line is that when someone questions my diverse approach to life and writing, I simply assure them as my late friend Patricia Caldwell iterated in her song: “I’m not lost; I’m exploring.”