“To succeed you constantly have to reinvent yourself. Try different things.” Bob Mayer, last week on Elizabeth Meyette’s blog.
My 7-months pregnant daughter-in-law, who with her friends, remember their gymnastics coach by doing handstands on the anniversary of his passing. Is that flexibility or what?
One thing you learn early on in married life—especially with children—is being flexible. Life throws us curves, or as Brenda Whiteside wrote here last Thursday, “Make a Plan and Hear God Laugh.”
Another thing we learn as we get older is that our bodies become less flexible. I was never as flexible as my daughter-in-law, even in my younger days. My physical therapist tells me that for relief from chronic back pain and to gain the ability to walk longer, straighter, etc., my hips have to be more flexible. That they're too tight, too rigid. Thank God, he wasn’t talking about my mind.
When I first started writing, I wrote romances, like the Harlequins I’d devoured ages ago. That didn’t work. Rejections abounded. Then I tried romantic suspense. Suspense always came up in my romance stories anyway. I wrote this great story, but nobody wanted it. For fun, I wrote a story about a woman who was kidnapped by aliens, by mistake. I was surprised when Switched was picked up by a small niche publisher back in 2000. Alas, my publisher didn’t like the second book. She thought my heroine should be pushed out an airlock into space. I disagreed.
Time went by, life threw some curve balls, I dropped out of the writing game for a while. That’s when everything changed. Social media? What’s that? Facebook was what my brother-in-law used to show off the fish he caught. Blogs, Twitter, Triberr, LinkedIn, Pinterest. My head spun. The multitude of publishers became the Big Five. Or is it now the Big Four? If I wanted back in the writing game, I had to readjust my thinking. I had to learn new things, new ways of doing things.
A friend suggested since I had the rights back for Switched, I should self-publish it. After all, it wasn't doing anything anyway. Talk about being surprised. Wow. I wrote more science fiction romances and people bought them. Double wow! Then I took a chance with that romantic suspense and The Wild Rose Press wanted One Red Shoe. Our own Alicia Dean was my editor. I couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic editor for my book. While I haven’t published any more romantic suspense, I have some hiding in my computer that need to be hauled out and looked at.
I love writing sci-fi romances. But I wanted to try something else. A mystery series with a female detective. A PI who takes over her father’s business in a small resort town. The Alex O’Hara series was born.
Without being flexible, I wouldn’t have tried the different genres. If that’s reinventing myself, I’m having a blast doing it.
Diane Burton writes sci-fi romances, romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. She blogs here on the 30th of the month and on her own blog every Monday.