Monday, September 17, 2007

One advantage of blogging with writers

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Everett Public Library to hear Pat Wood read from and speak about her book “Lottery”. Afterwards we went to dinner with another blogger and some of Pat’s longtime friends. As we were discussing writing and blogging, I mentioned that one of the things I enjoy most about blogging with writers is being introduced to genres I might otherwise not have noticed.

When Pat asked me what my favorite genre is, it was an easy reply – cozy mysteries. Not the thriller type or anything erotic or gory. If Agatha Christie was still alive and writing, I would be in heaven. I love puzzles and grew up devouring Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden then graduated to Agatha and the rest as I grew older. I did read other things, but mysteries were always my favorite.

But being around writers has forced me out of my comfort zone and into other genres. I’ve grown to like and respect my fellow bloggers and want to support them and their work. I’ve purchased new releases, won books in contests and received galley copies of other manuscripts that are erotic, romance, fantasy, thriller, sci-fi, etc.

Now, the gory and sadistic ones I just can’t read. I haven’t gone to a slasher movie since Psycho and still have see through shower curtains in my house.

Opening myself to new genres and adventures in reading helps broaden me as a person. It’s like going to new places or to familiar places but seeing them from a new perspective. It’s enriching to my soul and to my writing. Like reading other blogs, it’s a true leaning experience and one for which I am most grateful to my fellow writers.

It hasn’t made me change my preference for Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot, but it certainly has pulled me into another realm of possibility.

Have you strayed from your usual genres lately?

15 comments:

ORION said...

I had a blast meeting everyone and attaching faces to blog posts!
There is something so energizing about talking writing with other writers!

Ello said...

This was so cool! What a small world the blogosphere is!

AW - you looked beautiful in the pic with Pat!

kathie said...

HI Anti-wife, I agree. First of all, I love cozies, too. But being in critique groups has done the same thing for me--opened my eyes to new genres. I see value and enjoy just about any type of writing, I get so excited about what I'm reading and don't find it difficult to give feedback even if the genre isn't my cup of tea. But some people in various groups I attend have a hard time doing that. If they dont' like the genre they pretty much don't appreciate the work.

katemoss said...

I know exactly what you mean. When I get to know other writers, I get curious about what they write. I've started reading more widely and it has made me realize what I've been missing by sticking in one or two genres. Good writing is a pleasure to read in almost any genre!

Jaye Wells said...

I read everything. This does not help my weekly existential crisis over what genre I should be writing. However, I think it's good to expand your literary horizons. Even if you never stray from your chosen genre, reading others can enrich your writing.

cry it out! said...

Yes indeed. My wife and I have very different reading tastes but we make a habit of switching books every now and then. It definitely broadens the horizons.
Mike

Bernita said...

I've always read anything, but blogging has been wonderful for another reason - it encourages one to try writing different forms.
And the different voices are inspiring.

Church Lady said...

You said it well, AW!

Sounds like you had a great time. I'm going to a children's writers conference in October. I can't wait to be surrounded by other writers!

Cheers,

The Anti-Wife said...

Orion,
It was lots of fun and dinner was great.

Ello,
It really is a small world. I hope to meet more of my fellow bloggers eventually.

Kathie,
I have a hard time with the critique group concept. I'll have to blog about it someday.

The Anti-Wife said...

Katemoss,
It's always interesting to meet in person. It creates a bond that makes us want to explore further and that can be very healthy.

Jaye,
"This does not help my weekly existential crisis over what genre I should be writing."
Thank Dog I'm not the only one.

Merry Jelinek said...

Blogging with other writers has been wonderful. As far as genres go - I've been lucky to gain a good bit of respect for other writer's work. My writers group is full of an eclectic mix, none of us are writing the same type of things, which is good for mixing it up but I think the crits I got from others in my genre helped a bit more.

Blogging, on the other hand, lets you have a great discussion about all the different facets of craft and business that non writers tend to grown at... plus, most of the bloggers I've met are both intelligent and fun - always a plus.

The Anti-Wife said...

Mike,
I used to cringe when someone would offer me a book in an unknown genre. Now I welcome them. I sometimes can't make it through them, but they do help broaden my perspective.

Bernita,
Perhaps next you should try writing a demented psychiatrist for those whispering voices.

Chris,
Conferences can be fun and very interesting. I met lots of very cool people at Backspace.

The Anti-Wife said...

Merry,
Yes, intelligent and fun. What better description of our fellow bloggers!!!

kathie said...

Anti--just stopping in even though I already commented--just wanted to say how great your blog is and how much I love stopping by it.

wordtryst said...

I'd say that hanging out with writers in the blogosphere has definitely widened my reading horizons. While I've always read a variety of genres - horror & extreme sadism excepted - I've heard of and thus sought out books I might not have found otherwise.