Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IWSG: Are You Bored?


Are you between projects?  Has the exciting new NaNo project you adored when you thought it up lost its new-idea shine?  Are you stuck and not sure what to do next?  Having a case of writer's block or just generally uninspired?


You can experiment with a new genre -- something you never tried before or something you've always wanted to do.  (Dianne Salerni decided to write in an unfamiliar genre and sold it to HarperCollins!) Try a different tense or a different POV.  Try writing for a different age group than you're used to.  Instead of tying yourself down to a novel, write a short story or a novella.

The same way your tastes and interests changed between childhood, teenage years and adulthood, you can't expect to write about the same things or in the same style forever.  You've experienced more.  You've learned.  You've grown. 

You're a new and improved you!

Don't be afraid to shake things up.  Put away what's safe and secure and challenge yourself!  Maybe you'll be the one to post awesome news about a huge success next!



The Insecure Writer's Support Group exists so the community of blogging writers can share and support each other.  I love the encouragement the members give, and I especially enjoy blog-hopping to cheerlead and commiserate.To find out more, visit: Insecure Writer's Support Group.

53 comments:

Mark Means said...

I think one of the biggest challenges for me would be writing Romance. My mind just boggles at the thought.

It'd be a great challenge, though, so I just may have to give it a shot....sometime :)

Great advice :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Thanks for the shout out, Lexa! This IS good advice. As I mentioned in my announcement, I really wasn't sure I could pull off that genre. I had attacks of insecurity all through the writing of it.

And it's not just genre that can make a great change. As you said -- try a different POV. Back when I was querying, I got a R&R request suggesting I switch my manuscript from first person to third. I thought that was a terrible idea -- until I tried it. I ended up loving third person so much, I never went back.

Verb tense, though. I haven't been brave enough to venture out of past ...

L.G.Smith said...

Boredom is a bad sign when you're writing. If you're bored the reader probably will be too. Yeah, best to find a project that really gets you excited. That enthusiasm comes through in the story I think.

M.L. Swift said...

Passion is a driving force. If something you are writing about becomes stale, return to what made you passionate about it in the first place. Twist that boredom into a new adventure.

Great post, Lexa.

Stephen Hayes said...

Your advice is quite sound. I've been toying with the idea of writing SciFi but haven't taken the plunge.

Kate Larkindale said...

Yup, challenging yourself is always a good way to knock the blahs out.

Kelly Hashway said...

Yeah, lately I've been say to hell with branding and writing whatever I want to. It keeps things fresh. :)

E.J. Wesley said...

I've finished up a project that will be published soon, and I'm standing on that ledge of 'where do I go next?' I can work on the next in a series, finish off a novel I started many moons ago, or start on a new series I've been dreaming about. So many choices, but only time for one. :-)

Patsy said...

I'm not bored but I do still agree that it can be a good idea to try something new in our writing.

Steven said...

I just published my first book for kids and loved the experience! It's great to spread out and keep writing interesting.

Marsha Sigman said...

Exactly what I did! Great advice!

Lexie C. said...

This is great advice! I've read a couple of stories lately in 1st person and it seemed odd at first but I might keep it in mind to give it a try. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Hear, hear! Neither my agent nor my editor has mentioned "branding" to me, suggested I use a pen name for a new genre, or any of that nonsense. I'm tempted to say the whole "branding" thing is a bunch of hooey.

David P. King said...

Exactly! I started with sci fi, shifted to fantasy, and now I'm writing zombies. Zombies. Who knew, right? And the CPs seem to enjoy it more than the other stuff (wonder if I should try my hand at Romance - kinda freaky, huh?). Your post is spot on and awesome! :)

Candilynn Fite said...

Oh yay! Another inspiring IWSG post. :) Love reading these, thanks Lexa! Between June and October I experimented with writing all sorts of genres. Adult, children's, YA, Middle Grade, thrillers, romance, you name it, I wrote it! I think it's safe to say, I enjoy writing for younger audiences, but not limiting myself to an age group. But my adult romance / mystery taught me valuable lessons in plotting. It strengthened my writing in ways I never imagined. Will I ever do anything with it? Who knows.

This is excellent advice! Thanks for sharing.

Georgina Morales said...

Great advise, Lexa. We are so used to stay within our comfort zone that we may be missing great adventures. Thanks!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Good advice. I also like to take a break from my standard reading genre every once in a while to see what happens in my head when I read something different from what I write :)

Kim Lajevardi said...

So true, so true! Sometimes you just need to move away from what you always do, or you'll be stuck there and so will your characters. Great post, Lex!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Oh man, my problem is definitely not lack of ideas! It's lacking the time to write all of them. I do like switching it up, and I really enjoy when a prompt or idea takes me to something I'm not comfortable writing.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Doreen McGettigan said...

Thank you for the positive energy Lexa! I am working on 2 different genre's right now and it is a bit stressful. Thanks for the reminder that this is supposed to be fun:)
doreenmcgettigan.com

D.S.Taylor said...

yeah great advice - a change is as good as a rest!

Nickie said...

What a timely post! I've been writing mostly science fiction, but I have an idea for a YA contemporary that won't leave me alone. Change can be good!

Elise Fallson said...

Good advice! I've been dabbling in MG stuff lately, it's a nice change from what I normally write but much more difficult that I would have imagined.

Sherry Ellis said...

Good advice! Shaking things up does help.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bored? What on earth is that?
Actually another author proposed we write a fantasy story together, and that will definitely be stepping out of my comfort genre.

Suzanne Furness said...

This is great advice a change can be just the thing to spark our creative streak. I love your blog header by the way, it is very striking.

Medeia Sharif said...

Excellent advice. I like to shake things up. My current manuscripts are different than what I normally write.

Samantha May said...

This is wonderful advice! I love to change things up when I can. It makes writing that much more exciting :)

cleemckenzie said...

I was feeling restless, not exactly bored, just wanting something different, so I wrote Alligators Overhead--definitely not what I usually write. And that's been very refreshing!

How are things in neck of this universe? I'm trying to keep up with the news.

Lynda R Young said...

I love this advice. I'm a firm believer of breaks and change.

DL Hammons said...

Embrace change! I wore boxers instead of briefs today...does that count? :) But I also recently tried writing YA instead of Mystery/Suspense. It was a lot of fun!! :)

Jocelyn Rish said...

Excellent advice, Lexa! I used to participate in these 48 hours short story contests where we were assigned a random genre, and even though they were tough, they were sooooo good for my writing because they forced me to try something new - even historical fiction. *shudders*

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Mmm, maybe I should try something new. Will think about it. Good idea.

tfwalsh said...

I was writing first person for a long time, and only when I started writing recently my new shorter stories in third person, did I realize how much I enjoy it...:) Change isn't always easy, but I think worth it;)

mshatch said...

funny you should mention this...because I did the same thing, wrote something completely different AND I plotted it out rather than pantsed my way through it. And I can attest to the awesomeness of Dianne's new book; can't wait to see it in print!

DMS said...

I am not bored- but I think the advice is great! Always helps to switch things up! :)
~Jess

Cecilia Robert said...

Great post! I really with you about changing genre. I've been working on my YA urban fantasy for a while now. Finally I completed the project and it's great to switch to New Adult-ish themed contemporary romance.

Pk Hrezo said...

This really is a great reminder. I tried something really different with my most recent ms and wrote it in 3rd person limited past tense. My last 3 stories were written in 1st present, so it really threw me out of my comfort zone, but in a great way. The challenge keeps our writer brains fine tuned.

P.S. Thx for stopping by my blog with congrats. :)

Kelly Louise said...

Great post Lexa, now that I've had to cut my computer time down to twenty minutes a day my mind is full of possibilities. Interesting how that works.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm never sure what my genre is, let alone how to go about changing it!

Romance Book Haven said...

Excellent advice, Lexa! Shaking everything once a while keeps things exciting!

Nas

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Great advice, Lexa and the timing is really something. I woke up this morning having dreamed that I was gong to try writing a boy-centric middle grade novel. Of course, now that I'm awake, I doubt I'll do it, but you never know. It was nice to have the opportunity open before me. Kind of like your post - giving permission to step outside of our comfort zone. Thanks!

SA Larsenッ said...

Writing a short story always jumpstarts new creative juices within me.

Tia Bach said...

LOVE this post! I am loving writing, although I am taking a break after the draining insanity of my first NaNo, but I'm having a hard time re-engaging with blog writing. I'm hoping inspiration will strike soon! But you've inspired me to challenge myself. Thanks!

michelle said...

Your posts are always engaging and refreshing too...
I think I needed to hear this today. Maybe I need to try something different, in 1st person POV ( which I normally shy away from)...

Misha Gericke said...

So true! of course, I write so many different stories, change for me would be to actually finish a sequel. :-P

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic post! I like to step out of my comfort zone now and then. Sometimes it turns out to be an utter failure, but it's always a learning experience.

Cherie Reich said...

It's great to mix things up now and again. That's one reason I love writing flash fiction and short stories. I can stretch out and try a new genre to write in without spending a novel-length of work on it to see how it goes.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Great suggestions Lexa and happy holidays!

Catherine Stine said...

I couldn't agree more! I'm about to try a new genre for a novelette. I can't even say what it is yet, thinking of using a pen name for it!

riki jorden said...

Thanks for sharing information on IWSG: Are You Bored? , i have visited your blog great post...!!!!

Bores












Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm between projects, but have edits to take care of come January, so it will catch up to me.

Romance Book Haven said...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Nas

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