A couple of months ago, I was told that, if I wanted to gain an audience for this blog, I’d have to pick one thing to write about and stick to it. I’d have to narrow my focus, and I’d probably have to write about writing if I wanted to be taken seriously as a writer.
Here’s the thing – I’m not gonna do that.
People don’t always go to coffee shops just for a cup of coffee. They might go because they want a piece of cake and a cup of tea, or they might opt for a sandwich and a bottle of juice instead. And that variety is what makes coffee shops so great.
That’s how I feel about my blog. It’s a ‘coffee shop’ offering several different things – pieces about beauty, travel, games, poetry, my cat, etc. Whatever strikes my fancy to write about at the time is what I write about and post.
That sounds like a radical idea in a society that’s used to packaging everything in neat little cake box categories. But guess what? Sometimes I get tired of talking about writing! (Gasp.)
It’s true. Don’t get me wrong – I love my craft. I’ve been writing creatively since I was able to hold a pencil, and before that I was telling stories to my family. This is in my blood; it’s my ultimate passion.
But I talk about writing a lot. I’m currently completing a Master’s in Creative & Critical Writing, which takes place three days a week, so that’s always spent talking about writing. In the mornings when I wake up, I’m working on my novel, my blog posts, or my assignments, often for several hours at a time. I’m constantly on Twitter talking to people about the process, tweeting my progress on my #WIP, reading other people’s work. Throughout the day, I pull out my planning papers and tweak things, map characters, map plot, plan chapters. I write flash fiction on the train to school; I write poetry in class.
Quite frankly, sometimes I want to do something else, because I don’t have a one-track mind. No one does, and when you tell me to narrow my focus because I won’t be taken seriously, you’re selling me short. You’re putting me into a neat little cake box, when I should be in the display case with all the other cakes, croissants, brownies, and cookies.
Can we stop pretending that writers aren’t dynamic people with other interests outside of writing? I don’t just write – I sing, I draw, I play videogames, I play with my cat, I take walks, I travel, I cook, I do my makeup. And I want to write about those things, too! What’s so wrong with having one tiny corner of the Internet where I can write about that stuff?
The answer is simple – nothing. So if you’re a writer who feels that same pressure, I have a simple piece of advice for you: just do you. Don’t feel like you have to give into the cake box mentality.