Boundaries are over-rated.
I’m not talking about that thing where your roommate keeps coming into your room and stealing your underwear while you sleep so she can sell it on Japanese fetish websites.* You should probably address that, maybe with a taser. I’m referring to the boundaries we place on our own skills and abilities.
“I only write fan-fiction.”
“I can’t write short stories.”
“Romance is beyond me.”**
God damn it, we’re writers, aren’t we? Which means we’re supposed to be fucking creative. When did it become the norm to put so many restraints on our creativity that we might as well be Fifty Shades of Grey cosplayers?*** We should be trying new stuff, moving things around, taking in all the new possibilities. But instead, we find a niche and stick to it. Steampunk. Character-driven slice-of-life screenplays. Robot erotica. That’s all.
That is fucking stifling.
And I’m as guilty of it as anyone. For a long time, I was strictly a fantasy novel writer. But then I started writing short stories. And horror. And superhero stuff. And science fiction. And, while I found that I fucked it up a fair bit at first, I still found that I liked it.
One of my goals this year is to branch out even further: I’m going to write a graphic novel script. And, hell, if I feel like it, I might even draw it. Because creativity needs to be prodded sometimes.
So this is my Monday Challenge to you: find something you’ve never written before. Then come up with a way you’d be interested in writing it.
Don’t like romance? How about the dating life of one of your characters? Hate horror? How about nightmares that can make cameos? Worried about short fiction? Try writing a stand alone scene, or an earlier moment in someone’s life. The point is to find a way around those boundaries.
It should be simple enough. After all, we were the ones that made them.
*People do this, as I discovered in residence.
**Talking about writing again. Your relationship problems are your own.
***Is this a thing? I don’t want it to be a thing. I’m afraid to check the internet to find out.