When I first started writing seriously, nearly six years ago, I was unsure of what genre I wanted to write; as a result, I played a lot. I wrote poems; sparse, poetic nonfiction; humour essays; and children’s stories.
Then I chose my genre or—more precisely—my genre chose me. I started a humour blog where I laughed at all things domestic. My agent sold my parenting humour manuscript, Don’t Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to my Kids.
My next book, however, comes out this May and it’s a picture book entitled The Change Your Name Store.
So, how do you write in multiple genres?
As I’ve found out, it’s easiest if both genres have an overlapping audience. Who buys parenting humour? Moms. Who buys picture books? Moms.
I’m pretty sure it’d be harder if I was trying to sell Sketching Fish for Dummies.
Now, why should you write in multiple genres?
(1) It helps you stay fresh. You can switch projects when one is feeling flat.
(2) It may help sell your other book(s). I’m hoping my picture book will help sell more copies of my humour book, as moms read the author bio and say, “Hey, that looks interesting.”
(3) It keeps you from being pigeon-holed as a writer of x. I don’t call myself a mommy blogger because I don’t always write about children (not to mention the term seems pejorative). I love the idea of “being more” than my genre, of reaching new readers, of trying new things.
So what’s next? I’m working on all of the following manuscripts: a second picture book, a humor gift book for moms, and a slightly serious memoir of sorts.
If there’s such a thing as Writer’s ADD, I have it.
Do you write (or have any desire to write) in multiple genres?
What do you write? What genre would you love to try, just for fun?