Down the genre rabbit hole: how to write out of a block

My poor, neglected blog. Hello, my old friend. It’s a relief to have something to blog about. For the past few months, I have been writing. In between other commitments. Writing a few words, here or there, on a few different projects. But I haven’t been feeling it. I haven’t been in the zone. I started to hate everything I was working on. What to do? Like Alice in Wonderland, one day I fell down a rabbit hole and haven’t looked back.

I did something different. Really different. I didn’t try to write contemporary romance or romantic comedy, or even women’s fiction. I had a mad idea for a story that was in a totally different, slightly oddball genre. And I wrote it. I mean, I sat down to write the opening scene and it kind of flowed out of me like the story was on tap. 12,000 words in just a couple of weeks.

I laughed while I was writing. It was ridiculous. How was it coming so easily, when everything I was trying to write was so difficult? I dreamed about the crazy, out there characters. It was weird, something completely different.

Apparently, it was exactly what I needed. I’d become bogged down in a genre-specific rut, reading and writing romance for months on end, and I couldn’t see what was in front of me. I certainly couldn’t tell whether I was writing anything interesting, sexy or funny anymore.

But this new story, it was kind of good. More importantly, it was there. Words on a page. Like I’d been thinking about it and simply willed it to appear.

So what did I do next? Something even madder. I invented a totally separate persona and self-published the story on Amazon. Just for fun. To see what happened. Do you know what? It became a bestseller in that new, slightly oddball genre. Only for a few days, but still, it happened.

Oh, and if you think I’m going to tell you my secret cross-genre identity, then I think you’ve lost your mind.

The best thing about this whole, mad experiment was that it freed my words. Now I’m writing something new, in a genre I love, and the words are flowing again. I somehow, incredibly, wrote my way out of my contemporary romance rut by falling down another genre rabbit-hole. And I’m going to do it again. Soon.

Posted in writing.

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