I hope you can help me. I recently became a New York Times bestselling author. My genre is romance fiction, and my audiences are mainly women. I have lost my passion for this recently, however, and I am scared to write another genre in case I lose my readership.
I spoke with my agent, and they wouldn’t even let me think about going to another genre. I know they don’t want to lose their income, but how can I keep on writing about something I am not passion about? I waited so long for this to happen and now it’s here I don’t feel excited anymore. I wanted another professional opinion: should I stick with this genre or should I move on? Thank you for your time.
When I first received this email, my initial thoughts were: of course you should stick to writing romance, especially being a New York Times bestselling author. Nevertheless, I had to put myself in the author’s position. Writing is a creative process and, if passion is lost in anything, it will show in the product and could actually work against them – losing their readership rather than gaining more.
Maybe you’re like this author: you have been writing for so long, waiting for your big break, then it comes and now what you yearned for, you no longer want anymore… You have lost your passion. What do you do? This is what I advised this author, and is what I am advising you.
- Look at the root of the situation. Ask yourself, did you always want to write in this particular genre, or was it because you thought it was popular and did it for the sake of doing it?
If you always wanted to write in your chosen genre, it may be because you had to wait so long, and now the dream has arrived it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. However that doesn’t mean you should give up on writing romance, fantasy, young adult fiction, non fiction, whatever it maybe. You just need time to get used to your new success.
If you were doing it for popularity, then there is a problem. It is important to write on something you love, and not just do it for popularity, as you will lose your creative juices for the topic very quickly. If this is the scenario you are in, you should consider slowly – and I mean slowly – transitioning to a genre you are passionate about, maybe merging the two together, for example romance mixed with fantasy.
- Take a short break from writing, maybe a month or two but no longer than that, as it would be difficult for you to get back into the swings of things. Now as a popular author, you can be busy promoting your book and continue building your credibility. This will give you a chance to rethink and pray about what to do. You may have lost your passion because you have been writing continuously, and haven’t had a break. You do need this time to reflect and decide. Promoting can be just as busy as writing; it gives you a chance to meet other people, connect with your readership, and it can also help reignite your passion, reminding you why you do what you do. Taking a break can also help with fresh ideas.
- Look back at your goals. Why did you want to write this particular genre in the first place? If your goal was to become a New York Times bestselling author with this genre and, now it has happened, you feel you have no goals left to achieve, this doesn’t mean you have lost your passion, it just means you have to set new goals and continue writing.
- Finally, if you know in your heart that your passion for your chosen genre has really gone, then it is best to transition to write what you are really passionate about, as you will be able to produce your best product, and it could work in your favour. As mentioned in the first point, this would need to be a slow transition, as your audience is used to a particular writing style from you. The good thing about writing is that you can mix elements together without totally losing your audience, as every story has different scenes to it.