There's a saying in the horse world. Throw your heart over the fence and the horse will follow. And although that saying ties into the good principles of horsemanship like heels down, eyes forward, look where you want the horse to go, it also holds true for life. And for writing.
I try to follow this saying in life, too. It was what I did when I moved to Missouri, and when I get all the anxiety and doubt out of the way, the truth is, the dream is happening. Slower than I thought, with more setbacks, and I frankly had a lot more healing to do than I ever thought necessary, but it's happening. And you're a part of that. I can't thank you enough.
It's also good advice for writing. So often these days, with the push of "marketing gurus" into the writing space we're told what we should write. What we ought to write. And that leaves us well...not writing what we want to write.
I took a leap this year. I was frustrated with my writing, feeling that as someone who had been published since 2002 and apparently missed all the on ramps to success and full-time authordom, that maybe I should just hang it up. Except, I couldn't. No way. So I kept writing the romance that I'd started with, only this time, instead of going "to market", I went "to the heart". I wrote stories that I connected with. I worked with people I wanted to work with.
And I branched out into new genres.
I started writing equestrian lit, never imagining horse books for thirty and fortysomething horse crazy women would sell. I'd thought there might be a market. I still love a good heartwarming teenager horse book, don't get me wrong. But frankly I wanted to read about women like myself, trying to juggle horses, life, work, husbands, families. Apparently others did too. And my heart had always been in the fantasy genre. So I picked up and discovered that a world I'd created as an alternate-history, actually has roots in today and began the Radio Arcanum series.
Not to make this post all about me, but to tell you that it's okay to write what you want to write. It's okay to branch out and explore. It's okay to experiment. That's one of the lovely parts of this market. You can do this, and it will be okay.
After all, if you throw your heart over the fence, the horse has no chance but to follow. Throw your muse into a story and you never know what might happen.