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Diversify

posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:03 PM by David Burkhart
We hear a lot about diversity. Yet, we rarely thinking about the word "diversity" as it impacts our lives.

I'm involved with a community of about 70 writers. They come on line in various discussions during the week and yak about things that bother them about writing. They want to lean on others for inspiration, and most of all some need encouragement to hold the course and get the work completed on time.

Now, that should be two different things - finish the project and then, meeting the deadline. But authors are faced with deadline after deadline. When the project is completed, they may wait for three years before seeing the result. In the meantime, most of us have thoughts about diversifying our lives. Writers have to change gears sometimes to keep from obsessing on the book they have going at the time.

One of the ways that was suggested was to write books in various genres, so that we are not always thought of as a children's writer, as a biographer, etc.  That is the new trend for fulltime writers - diversity.  Within the next few years, it will not be unusual to see writers write about the things that inspire them, not just about the things that sell. Just recently I saw a book about gardens written by a famous sports writer. Then there's Bill Murray's book on golf. (He's an actor, not a professional golfer - I don't care if it is funny.) I could go on and on. Science fiction writer Orson Scott Card has written a shelf-full of books on religious subjects.  

I've always been a maverick. I enjoy writing for children, however I get  a lot of satisfaction from writing  an adult historical picture book for Arcadia. People write to say, "Thanks, for doing a book with more pictures and less words. I'm busy and don't have time to sit for three days." Young students wouldn't read a 500 page book of detailed history, but they will look at the old photographs and read the detailed cutlines.

That has shown me that there are different readers for different kinds of books. I guess I'll keep plugging on to write for children and adults - some with pictures and some without. 
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