25 Things Writers Should Start Doing (3/25).

3. Start Trying New Stuff

Branch out. Get brave. Look at all the ways you write now — “I write in the morning, sipping from my 64-ounce 7-11 Thirst Aborter of Mountain Dew, and I pen my second-person POV erotic spy novels and it earns me a comfortable living.” Good for you. Now punch that shit right in the ear. Okay, I’m not saying you need to change directions entirely — what kind of advice is that? “Hey, that thing that works for you? Quit doing it.” I’m just saying, mix it up. Make some occasional adjustments. Just as I exhort people to try new foods or travel destinations or ancient Sumerian sexual positions, I suggest writers try new things to see if they can add them to their repertoire. Write 1000 words a day? Try to double that. Don’t use an outline? Write with one, just once. Single POV character? Play with an ensemble. Mix it the fuck up. Don’t have just One True Way of doing things. Get crazy. Don’t merely think outside of the box. Set the box adrift on a river and shoot it with fire arrows. Give the box a motherfucking Viking funeral.

I feel like I mix things up on a fairly regular basis.  I’ve written in three genres (YA, Contemporary, Thriller) and have plans to write in a third (Children’s).  I’ve written in third and first person (present and past).  I’ve written fanfiction and borrowed other people’s characters.

However, the author of this article does make a great suggestion.  I’ve never written a book with an outline.  And you know what?  I think it’s time I tried it.  Even if it’s just a loose outline, it will be something ‘new.’  I just need to figure out which story I want to  write first.  Minor details.

Being a writer these days is more than just the act of writing (who are we kidding, everyone is now their own personal brand). In the realm of social media, I’ll have to admit, the world of blogging gives me hives.  While there is some genuine good (and hilarious) content out there, the constant self promotion (this blog included) wears me down.  As does the cross promotion, synergy, and vanity.  However, blogging is something new – a new resolution I’ve set for myself for the year.  How to connect with other blogs?  No idea.  How to build followers?  Still trying to figure that one out.  The theory that what I do and say and write here would one day convince people to buy my as yet unpublished work is a bit out there, but the advice above is a good reminder that this dog can learn some new tricks.

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