Cross Training Your Writing

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram and Facebook this month, you know I’ve devoted some time to writing poetry. I don’t write a lot of poetry, and it’s not good by any means. But I write it. I also write short stories in just about any genre. I write almost everything, even though I only really market my speculative fiction work.

This has got to seem crazy. I mean, when you think about everything we do every day, fitting in writing that you’re not going to market and might not even be good at can seem like a pointless waste of time.

But it’s really not. There are a lot of reasons that I would advise cross training your writing.

Different perspective

I talk about this a lot, and I’m not the only one. Getting a new perspective on things, especially if we’re talking about anything creative endeavors. What can suspense writing teach a fantasy writer? How to write some damn scary monsters for your hero to face. What can fantasy teach a romance writer? To write in such a way that evokes the suspension of disbelief.

Stretching muscles you might not stretch normally

Your brain is a muscle, we’ve all heard this. Just like we would cross train our bodies, we want to cross train our brains. It will just make all of your brain smarter. It’s like how learning an instrument will help you understand Math, or how when you learn a second language it’s easier to learn a third. Our brains need to stretch.

It’s something new

If all you ever do is write one genre, you’re going to get bored. It’s just the same as everything else. I don’t care how much you love Steampunk, eventually, you’re not going to love it any more if it’s all you write. It’s like eating your favorite food. If you have it too much, you won’t like it as well. Though, I can’t imagine being in a position where I could get my hands on to much sushi. Maybe when I’m rich and famous.

It’s fun

Writing is a job, a passion, a dream life. It’s also freaking fun. Or at least it should be. I mean, if you’re not having fun writing, what are you wasting your time for? Go do something else that doesn’t take up all of your soul.

You might want to write in it for real

There was a time when I wrote horror, nothing but horror. I love it, not going to lie. But after a long hiatus, when my life was falling apart and I needed something to save my sanity, I decided to try fantasy. I was reading a lot of fantasy at the time, you see. My life was in some serious need of magic.

Last year I wanted to write something episodic for this site. I didn’t want to write more fantasy, and I couldn’t think of a horror story. I was watching a lot of Star Trek and Firefly. A lot of superhero stuff, too. That’s where Station 86 came from. I never intended to write fantasy or science fiction. But there we have it.

I still love horror, don’t get me wrong. I’d like to write a horror novel. But right now I’m entirely engrossed in two genre’s I just wanted to write for fun.

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