Writers being writers (read really frickin' neurotic), there's a huge list of things that scare us. For my part, I've had both waking and sleeping nightmares about missing deadlines, getting career-ending reviews, current fans pitchforking my future works, apocalyptic sales, losing the ability to write because of a brain or severe physical injury, having an editor inform me that I'll "never write in this town again" -- really, I could go on and on.
[UPDATE: Last night after writing this post, I dreamed that a long ago enemy invited me to dinner with her friends and exceedingly handsome fiance to tell me about the huge non-fiction three-book deal she'd just garnered. Then she asked me what I was working on. #truenightmares]
But I won't, because today's blog isn't about what scares me as a writer. No, it's about what I'm scared to write.
I write women's fiction (let's not even get into how it should be called plain ol' fiction-fiction, since women are over 50% of the market -- that's a whole 'nother blog). But like many writers, I'm pretty comfortable reading several genres outside of my own. I love sci-fi, literary, YA and trust if you give me the right set of circumstances (long day, sick toddler, fuzzy brain), I'll swallow a romance novel whole. All of these other genres tend to bleed into my women's fiction writing, and if one of my above non-injury-related nightmares came true, forcing me to switch from my preferred category in order to stay viable, I'd like to believe that I'd be able to take on any of the other genres I love to read.
However, if someone asked me to write a mystery, I'd have no idea how to go about it. I'm still not quite clear on what a cozy mystery even is, and in any case I can't imagine having enough internal motivation to write one. Same goes for horror novels -- I don't think I could even pen a horror short. I'm aware that it's a popular genre, but the thought of writing within it makes me want to start applying for cubicle jobs in marketing. Basically, if I don't generally read a genre, I'm just way too scared to attempt writing it.
But how about you? What genres are you afraid to write? Let me know in the comments, and Happy Halloween!
In addition to running the online magazine, Fierce and Nerdy, Ernessa T. Carter is the author of 32 CANDLES, a romantic comedy that is totally worth buying.
Photo credit: Smudgie's Ghost