How can you not write in the genre you know?

Over at Bookends, LLC Jessica Faust talks about writing what you know in the context of writing in the genre you know.

As Jessica says, she

“… regularly receive(s) submissions from authors who tell me sheepishly that in a different time in life they were reading such-and-such genre and thought that they could easily write that genre.”

Writing What You Know, Jessica Faust

She later goes on to talk about attending a writing conference where everyone seemed to be working on their memoirs, even though few of them read memoirs.

I’m no saint. Back in my early 20s. I decided to write a romance. After all, how hard was it? Anyone could write romance, and I had all my mother’s old Mills and Boons I had devoured as a teenager.

Like most people, I stopped writing about five chapters in.

It has been a lot of years and hundreds of thousands of words since that first abortive romance. Most of those words have been science fiction, fantasy or mystery—the genres I read for pleasure.

Having finished (although still not published) a number of novels now, I cannot imagine even trying to write something I wouldn’t read myself. It takes a long time to write a novel, and there are a lot of rewrites involved. To spend that much time working on something I didn’t even like is mind-boggling. I doubt I could do it.

Writing is supposed to be enjoyable, not torture.

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