Do You Worry What Others Will Say on Your Choice in Writing? Namely, genres? – Guest Post by, Traci Kenworth…

Have you as a writer heard grumbles on your material choices? For instance, if you write horror or romance? Perhaps family members or friends point out that they object to your story or the direction you want to take your career. Does it influence you? Has it made you steer clear of writing such stories? Do you keep what you write secret from church members for fear of being shamed for it? For most of my life, I’ve done this at one time or another. When I was young, eighteen, I made the mistake of admitting that I wrote horror to my pastor’s wife. She was horrified and suggested that I cease writing such stories immediately. It took me many years before I admitted the same to family and friends and here and there, I heard murmurs about writing “that stuff.”

The same kind of reactions come from writing romance, although for different reasons. It doesn’t matter that I write sweet romances, most picture loads of sex in your stories if you even breath the word. Writing horror is not about weird, occult type fiction. It’s about bringing hope in the darkness, giving your characters the chance to win against evil. Romance, on the other hand, is about love and two people finding one another is this world. Writing either genre or some of the more outlandish stories shouldn’t condemn one.

I fell in love with romances as a teen, the same time I started watching and reading horror. Comes the Blind Fury was the first book that held my attention and drew me into reading and writing. I got into reading romances when I couldn’t get to the library and I had to raid my mom’s supply of books. They were better than Reader’s Digest to me. Somehow, those stories seemed to happen to ordinary people. I wanted to read about extraordinary people and I could in the genres I chose.

I was in my twenties when I read Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of Rings. One of the things I’ve come to love about fantasy is: it combines many genres. There’s romance in it. There’s horror. Mystery. And more. Fantasy seems to be respectful in other’s eyes. And I love it. I do. But why can’t horror and romance inspire the same respect? Shouldn’t we all be allowed to write in the genre we want without the snickers, without the quiet disapproval?

I’m at the point in my life where I want to write what I want to write, and I don’t care what others think. I’ve held back too many years as it is. I don’t want to not write a story because it’s “one of those.” I’m going to be proud of my stories now, no matter what they are. They’re a part of me and God made me who I am. He knows what I like to read and write. And he knows my heart. That’s what matters, not the snide opinions of others. If you’re having trouble writing what you want for fear of disappointing others, realize, deep down, you’re disappointing yourself. Write what you want. That’s who you are. That’s the kind of writer you’re meant to be.

Traci Kenworth

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54 thoughts on “Do You Worry What Others Will Say on Your Choice in Writing? Namely, genres? – Guest Post by, Traci Kenworth…

  1. Kind of sort of. I used to think of myself as a rather pathetic writer of Science Fiction. My old college buddies no doubt look at me and say what a waste. Writing Police Adventure! But then, it’s something I found my passion in. I’d been there, worked with those people, smelled the finger print powder and the smoke from the gun, and it’s a lot more real to me than a starship.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Man, do I love this post. Hearing the struggle you’ve experienced as a Christian writing hits home. I love your observation that “Writing horror is not about weird, occult type fiction. It’s about bringing hope in the darkness, giving your characters the chance to win against evil.” Isn’t hope exactly what Christian stories should offer? I’m with you. I’m at the age where I want to write what I want to write–or what I sense God is leading me to write. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Ann Malley and commented:
    Do the holidays have you concerned about potential genre judgment–reading or writing–at upcoming family gatherings? No worries. Prep yourself with the wise words of talented Traci Kenworth, guest blogger on The Story Reading Ape.

    Write on!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this, you hit it on the spot, I feared writing romance for a long time. Now, I’m at a point wear I don’t care what anyone thinks, I’m going to write what makes me happy. Thank you, wonderful post. 😊👏👍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My feeling is that as writers we need very thick skin and our own sense of self. I have been criticized by family members and my mother strongly suggested I should write Children’s Books; a genre I have never wanted to write. She was not please that in one of my books that is more fact than fiction I rattled the family skeletons out of the closet.
    I like to see and listen from all venues with the goal of what interests me and might also be marketable. Otherwise I can simply write it hand to heart and for myself.
    I enjoyed your post and shared.

    Liked by 1 person


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