Tag Archives: burnout

Writing in Multiple Genres Part 2 (Guest Post)

Summer Series 2021: Writing in Multiple Genres Part 2

by Steph Beth Nickel

Last time we asked three questions:

  1. What does success mean to me?
  2. Do I care about becoming the “go-to” expert in my field or my readers’ favourite writer in a certain genre?
  3. Do I complete projects or do I have a virtual drawer full of unfinished manuscripts and other writing projects?

While your answers to these questions may lead you to believe that it’s best not to write in multiple genres and/or on multiple topics, there are several reasons you may choose to do so.

  1. If you haven’t yet settled on the genre and/or topic you want to focus on, it’s perfectly acceptable to try your hand at writing several different types of books. After all, if you end up churning out books you don’t enjoy writing, it’s going to lead to burnout—and will likely come through in your writing.
  2. If you’re just getting started on your writing journey, you may be surprised that you can actually write in a particular genre. I didn’t think I was clever enough—or committed enough to research and worldbuilding—to write fantasy or sci fi. However, I began a YA speculative fiction novel for NaNoWriMo last year and quite enjoy what I’ve written so far—at least most of it. You never know unless you try.
  3. If you’ve been writing on the same topic or in the same genre for a long time, you may be ready for a change. Nothing freshens up the process more than trying your hand at something new.

There are also a few ways to make it easier to write and publish in multiple genres.

  1. Choose variations of your name or pennames so readers can easily identify the books they’re looking for. Remember—if you use the same name for all your books, you risk losing readers because they will expect one thing but may end up with something completely different. Plus, since additional books sales can come from recommendations, you don’t want to disappoint your readers.
  2. If you’re publishing a certain type of book with a traditional publisher but also want to write something completely different—and have the capacity to do so while fulfilling the terms of your traditional contract—you may want to look into self-publishing/indie publishing. (For the purposes of this post, I define both self-publishing and indie publishing as a process by which authors hire a book cover designer and an editor and upload their books to Amazon [and possibly, other platforms] themselves or through an aggregator such as Draft2Digital. The authors also oversee the marketing of their books. I am not referring to signing an agreement with a company that requires payment for two or more of these services.)
  3. Be willing to become a lifelong learner. Whether you self-publish or sign with a traditional publisher, the writing industry is always changing. What sells well this year may be outdated by the time you complete your book. The level of connectedness readers want with their favourite authors has changed dramatically in the last few years. Facebook groups may be the perfect place to develop that connectedness with your readers. But who knows what’s just around the corner? Plus, genre expectations, “hot topics,” book cover design, available formats (print books, ebooks, audiobooks, etc.), and so much more evolve. While we shouldn’t let this discourage us, it does confirm that we must always seek to learn—and adapt when appropriate.

Have you dabbled in various genres or written about a number of topics? Do you write books? Short stories? Blog posts? Have you been writing for many years or are you just getting started?

Steph Beth Nickel
Steph Beth Nickel
Photo credit: Jaime Mellor Photography

Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance editor and writer and an author. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at stephbethnickelediting@gmail.com.

You’re invited to visit her website: http://stephbethnickeleditor.com/.

You can join her Editing Tips Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418423519384351.


“I’ve been working my heart out for the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,” said Elijah. “The people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed the places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I’m the only one left, and now they’re trying to kill me.”
1 Kings 19:10, MSG*

Elijah’s conversation with God comes after my favourite of his exploits, when he taunted the prophets of Baal in a public showdown. (You can read that story in 1 Kings 18.)

That event may be the pinnacle of Elijah’s career. And God showed up in power. Yet here the prophet is, not long after, running scared from evil Queen Jezebel.

Surely the God of fire and miracles could handle a vicious queen and her henchmen, but Elijah isn’t thinking about God.

Look at what he says—and he says it twice in the chapter—he’s thinking about himself.

The mighty prophet of God is having a self-pity party.

I’m not pointing any fingers. I’ve been there, and for far less reason. You probably have too.

Commentators say Elijah was depressed, that it was a personality thing. Maybe so. But this time I read the story I saw something else.

I think Elijah started wearing too much of the responsibility. He lived a high-profile, dangerous life, speaking God’s words of judgement to a king who didn’t want to hear them. What he said, and what he did, revealed God.

It was God’s power that burned the drenched sacrifice on the rebuilt stone altar, but did Elijah get too involved in shouting at the priests of Baal? Did he start taking the fight too personally?

Don’t we do that sometimes? God’s doing His part, but all of a sudden we’re carrying loads He never asked us to carry?

In his hurt, though, Elijah shows us what to do. He goes to God. He gets alone with God, and even though he spills out his whole “poor me” rant, Elijah hears God. God meets him there. And Elijah doesn’t leave that place until God sends him out.

Mighty and holy God, You are well able to work through Your people when we obey You, but sometimes we start looking at the work more than at the One who sends us. Moses and Elijah had these moments, and we do too. In Your patient mercy, please help us see when we go off-track, and please draw us back to Yourself to sit in quiet and renew our spirits. Teach us to trust You in all things instead of trying to forge ahead in our own power. Teach us to rest in You.  

Instead of a song this week, I have two other links for you:

At Choose NOW Ministries, Amber Frank talks about Finding time for the One who matters most.

And at Christian Work at Home Ministries, Jill Hart shares a video devotional about Missing the Point.

*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson