Join Prism Book Alliance® as Lisa Henry goes Outside the Margins today.
I love writing. For me, it’s the hobby that pays for me to travel and to meet people, and it very slowly chips away at that nightmare I call a mortgage. When Loose Id first published me, I was so excited. And I’m still excited! But here’s something I didn’t expect about writing genre fiction: like anything else, it can also get boring.
The problem with being moderately successful at something (and believe me, I’m not complaining; it’s awesome!) is that you do feel a certain about of obligation to continue down that same path. When I was writing purely for fun, wow, you can’t imagine some of the stuff I wrote. It was crazy, off-the-wall stuff that even if it were publishable would probably just get laughed all the way out of a slush pile.
When you write genre fiction, and you do well at it, and it pays some bills, then why would you stop? But the problem is that sometimes writing to the same—I don’t want to say formula, because I hope I’m not formulaic—rules of the genre means that you can’t just throw those rules out the window. A romance must have a HEA or at least a HFN. That’s romance in a nutshell. But sometimes, as a writer, I get bored with those rules and I want to create something different. The difficulty comes when you realize you only have so many hours in the day, and that you need to spend those hours working on something that will get you published, and get you sales.
I’ve spoken to quite a few m/m romance writers who are feeling a little burned out, and I’m sure it’s the same in all other genres too. It’s not because we don’t love writing, but because these comfortable niches we’ve dug for ourselves start to feel a little bit like ruts the longer we’re in them. This is probably the curse of any creative person. If we do well at something, we enjoy the benefits of that success, but we also want to try something different, something fresh, something new.
This month I released Stealing Innocents, a collection of stories that a lot of people are absolutely going to hate. The reason it was first self-published under another pseudonym was because I had written it as an experiment, a kind of pushback against all the happy endings that the romance genre demands. I wrote it to get my enthusiasm for writing back, basically, and it worked. Whether it works for readers or not… well, let’s wait and see!
It’s important to me, and I’m sure for a lot of other writers, than I find a way to keep feeling energized about the entire writing process. Because I don’t want to become formulaic or boring. I want to keep my enthusiasm alive, and carry it back over into my original works. I don’t want readers to ever say, “Oh, yeah, I read the latest Lisa Henry. It was a lot like her others, wasn’t it?”
In many cases writing is like any other job. There are days when it’s a struggle, and there are days when you just don’t want to sit down and get started. The difference, for me, is that writing has also been something that brings me a lot of joy (unlike my day job!) and I need it to stay that way. I think that readers can tell when an author loses their enthusiasm, and I don’t ever want that to be me. So the weird side projects and the fan fiction and anything else I’ve been experimenting with to stave off the burnout of boredom are definitely here to stay, because I want to keep publishing stories that readers enjoy for a very long time.
About Lisa HenryLisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
- Blog: lisahenryonline.blogspot.com
- Twitter: @lisahenryonline
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/LisaHenry
- Website: lisahenryonline.com
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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