The Writer’s Changing Identity

It used to be–or so I’m told anyway–that a writer had to stick to the same genre in order to be successful. That they had to stay in that genre to build their brand, because there weren’t a lot of other ways to build that brand. The genre would, essentially, become the writer’s identity.

However, because of blogging, social media, and self-publishing, it’s become much easier for writer’s to jump genres. I find that I’m wandering to various genres myself, and I think that benefits me overall as a writer. So far, I’ve published science-fiction, fantasy, steampunk, YA, and flintlock fantasy, and I’m currently working on horror and cyberpunk as well. Being able to do this has allowed me to exercise my creative muscles and branch out. It also helps me to bring something new to these genres by bringing something from another genre. Be it a technique or what have you.

Broadening my spectrum of genres also means I can appeal to a wider audience, and potentially bring two audiences together. Perhaps I write a YA flintlock fantasy. Those who enjoy YA may potentially discover they enjoy flintlock fantasy as well, and that could therefore draw them to my other flintlock fantasy works. There is certainly no shortage of mixed-genre books now.

How do you feel about genre jumping? Do you write in multiple genres? If not, do you plan to? Have you ever discovered you like another genre by reading a mixed-genre book?


6 thoughts on “The Writer’s Changing Identity

  1. I believe that jumping genres is alright, if not necessary, if one wants to grow as a writer. This growing and stretching will make one a better writer in my opinion. I have found that when I read a mixed genre book I realize that I like a type of genre that I have never read before.

  2. Writing is writing. I find I am usually classified by whatever book I last wrote, on whatever subject. All of which I ignore. There is a marketing benefit to being identified with a genre but to me it also carries an implication that the writer can do nothing else. Whereas the reality is that the skill is the writing, less so the content.

  3. I think it’s something that will not be as important as it used to be. I consider myself a sci-fi and horror writer but I’ve got ideas for post apocalyptic stories as well. As far as I am concerned I think we should just write what we want, if it’s self published I don’t think it matters. If someone really likes your work they’ll read everything you publish.

  4. I think it’s awesome that writers get to write what they want now. At least all under the same pen name. I’m writing a dystopian scifi at the moment, have an epic fantasy in the works, and then a magical realism romance story sooo yeah. Bit different all around. Which is half the fun. 😀

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