Thursday, September 17, 2009

Are You Predictable?

When I go into the bathroom to change clothes in the morning, our dog, Rascal, has me figured out. She knows I'm almost ready to leave for work, so she goes to the doorway of her room and waits for the DH to give her a treat before she goes to bed.

As a writer, being predictable can be a good thing or a bad thing. Lots of marketers say to stick with one genre or area of expertise. That way you'll attract a particular audience that will know what to expect and follow you for it. Over time, the audience will grow. You are reliable. That's a good thing.

Then again, it can be a bad thing for writers like me who get bored easily. I would feel stifled if I only wrote mysteries, no matter how much I enjoy doing them. That's because I also love writing romances. I also enjoy writing about my dog, Rascal. Not only that, I have a great time writing how-to articles on marketing, self-publishing, and a number of other topics. Then there's also my blog. I love sharing my writing and life experiences on the Internet.

What about you? Are you predictable, or do you enjoy a wide variety of writing?

19 comments:

  1. ME??? yes, no, sort of but oscar wild, my avatar, is very and therefore easy to fake out. mystery puppy i think is really a cat in a dog suit, but don't tell my dh.

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  2. predictable? Never!! But of course there are certain daily rituals, such as pills and meals and other stuff. Used to be animals to be fed, no more, thankfully. Oh, BTW anybody reading this, have you heard about "Killer Career?" If you are a lawyer, a hot sexy crime novelist or sometimes going in elevators to top floors, you should read this thriller.

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  3. MORGAN--not really predictable, I don't think. I'm trying so hard to get a Women's fiction novel accepted, because I have three in my files. My first two releases are vastly different. And I especially love to write essay for profit. Or maybe I am predictable in a way. Everything I write has something to do with Texas. Hmmm--I should think aobut this. Celia

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  4. I like to try different things. My main love is police procedurals, but every now and then I will write a romance, or a paranormal shapeshifter story. I've done SciFi in the past. Right now I'm working on something that is a little more mainstream. It has a touch of mystery and bit of romance, but it's neither of those.

    I don't like being predictable.

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  5. Wide variety most definitely. I've written everything from children's books to relationship how to to Internet marketing. I think variety is the spice of life and all that good stuff but the real reason is that we all change as we get older, why do we think our writing would stay the same? Branding, yes, it's important, but brand the name with the book, then if you come up with another genre you want to write, work on branding that, too. It's worked for many others in the past.

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  6. I use short stories or writing challenges to dabble with different genres - maybe someday I'll be able to increase one or more of them to book length. Personally, I admire writers who can write good and entertaining books in a variety of genres.

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  7. I try to change up my artistic style depending on how a manuscript strikes me. If it's more serious or quieter in tone, I'll draw/paint more realistically. If it's a little zany or wild, I'll render the images more loosely, or with more animation. I try not to be predictable or repetitive, but it can be hard not to fall in a rut.

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  8. I think I am very predictable in my daily routine. My family and friends know where to find me at any time. Yet I write romantic suspense and medical romances. Recently I have been playing with a new idea for a funny paranormal erotica, and for an inspirational based on a true story. My friends and kids have often asked me to write a memoir as my life was far from the normal, although I tried to put as much normalcy in my days.

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  9. I like to think I'm not predictable as I have several irons in the fire at one time, I believe.

    The only problem about not being predictable is that you can be in danger of losing your branding. I think if my younger books get published, I'll use a pseudonym.

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  10. Sounds like I'm not the only unpredictable one around, at least when it comes to writing.
    I'm glad I'm not alone, though there's nothing wrong with being predictable either. Whatever's your bag, so to speak.

    Carl - Sounds like you enjoyed Killer Career - Thanks for recommending it.

    Let's see if anyone else wants to confess about being either way.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com
    http://choiceonepublishing.com

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  11. I'm with you, Morgan, I can't just stay in one niche. I have a good friend who for years tried to rein me in, telling me I would succeed faster if I wrote in one medium, let alone one genre. :-) I tried to take her advice, but it's like a disease with me. I can't stop writing in all the different mediums.

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  12. I started out writing historical family sagas, switched to mystery, though I wrote three Christian horror novels, a psychological horror, and a ghost story.

    Now I seem to be stuck on mysteries and so far I'm happy.

    As far as rituals are concerned, I need to look at my email as soon as possible after I wake up.

    The rest I can switch around without a problem.

    Marilyn
    http://fictionforyou.com

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  13. I don't want to be predictable! I do both YA and self-help, and after my next self-help book, I intend to flit to another genre.

    L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”
    www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com

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  14. Yep, pretty predictable. My writing varies, but everything else you can count on.

    Every weekday morning once the girls are on the bus I make myself breakfast and then wander upstairs to check emails and blogs. I work and do household chores until 3 p.m. when the girls get home, and after that it's homework, get supper, and all that other fun stuff. I head back to my office once the girls are in bed, take a bath each night to wind down while I read, and then of to sleep until 6:30 a.m.

    Don't I lead an exciting life? LOL!

    Cheryl

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  15. Predictable, well, my cat would say so. My writing is in multiple areas and it and stifling to focus on just one area until I find that right niche.

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  16. Yes and no. My books all have the same 'feel' as in part literary and always dealing with some form of art as a setting. And they all deal with loss to a great degree with an upbeat ending.

    However, I know I'll be surprising readers with the 3rd book of my series so I'm not too awfully predictable. I'm a reality writer, and no matter how you try to control things in life, it tends to take its own turns.

    In a touch of a twist: I have a little fantasy story that I may do something with sometime. I'm sure that will surprise readers, also.

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  17. I eat breakfast at seven every morning. That, and way too much coffee is all that is really predictable about me. I write humor, crazy little stories, kid stories and nonfiction, such as my math book.

    Killer Career is a great book!

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  18. Thanks, everyone for sharing.

    Thanks Carl and Ron for plugging Killer Career. I'm glad you both liked it.

    Morgan Mandel

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  19. Morgan...
    I think in life I'm pretty perdictable. I have to be with homeschooling. But in writing I'm like someone with ADHD. I write YA, SciFi, Devotionals, and my blog. I get board quickly. Maybe it's my brain's way of combatting the predictablity in the rest of my life. I haven't read Killer Career, but plan to soon.

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