When my oldest son obtained his learner's permit, his father decided to let him drive our 15-passenger van. When he arrived home, the first thing our son said was, "It's like using an elephant to practice riding a horse."
How's your writing? Are you moving according to plan or are you practicing to ride a horse using an elephant?
Do you have that special story that you've always wanted to write, but haven't because someone convinced you it won't sell?
Are you becoming an expert on synopsis and the first three chapters because that's how you were told to market you story ideas?
Did you whip up a neat little short story because someone told you it was easier than writing a novel?
Or, maybe you penned an Inspirational because Inspirationals are hot right now. Or did you just finish that sweet romance, although you'd rather write something hotter? But you can't do it because your mother might read it.
What! You don't want to write a romance at all! You want to go mainstream, but someone told you breaking into romance would be easier because you have structured guidelines to follow.
I won't say you'll never get published if you've taken a spin on any of these elephants, but I will tell you the ride won't be anywhere near as satisfying if it wasn't what you really wanted to write.
Here are six of the best words ever written: To thine own self be true.
I'm not saying you shouldn't be aware of what's happening in the market. What I am saying is this. What makes you special, as a writer, is you. Telling the story you want in your voice.
I recently dismounted my elephant (romantic fiction) and rode my horse. My first novel (a psychological thriller) WHEN HEROES FALL was released in November 2001.
So, unsaddle that elephant, get on that horse. Your horse. And write your story.
I won't promise you'll get it published, but I will promise you'll enjoy the ride.
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