I’m supposed to be doing revisions this morning – a process that I routinely make far more complicated than necessary – but I had thoughts in my head that needed to be written down before I can focus.
One of my rituals on Thursday is to log in and read Kristine Kathryn Rausch’s Business Musings Blog, I highly recommend checking it out.
Anyway, today’s post was about the passing of the baton and the clash that sometimes occurs between younger and older writers. She managed to put into words a lot of what I’ve been feeling about Romancelandia lately. And that is the nagging sense that the genre has passed me by.
A Generation Gap
Today’s writers think and act differently than I do. They have different industry expectations when in comes to their careers and the books they write (or read), and they aren’t shy about making those expectations known. Or, in criticizing those who disagree.
None of this is necessarily wrong. In fact, many of their expectations and demands – such as equity for marginalized voices – are extraordinarily overdue. At the same time, however, I feel shoved aside, as industry focus shifts to newer, edgier, sexier (and independently published) books.
At 54 years old, I’m an industry dinosaur – a throw back to a different time. The way I view writing, both as an industry as well as the actual craft, seems out of favor. At times, I’m not even sure if my type of author is even respected. Because it’s a young writers game now, and as any parent who’s raised a child to adulthood will tell you, the generational gap is real.
Adapt or ….
So what then does one do when their generation has to pass the baton? When the tribe they spent nearly thirty years embracing no longer fits?
Well, first – they accept that change is going to happen. You can either fight it, or you can find a way to adapt. For me, that means taking a hard look at my place in Romancelandia and RWA. My bestie, Donna, talks a lot about standing in your truth. My truth is that my brand of sweet Harlequin romances will never be in vogue again.
By the way, this doesn’t mean I’m not going to write Harlequin Romances. On the contrary, I’m going to keep writing the books I love and deliver the best damn HQ Romances possible to my reader. I am, however, going to start pruning the aspects of Romancelandia that aren’t working for me. There are RWA chapters I belong to, and conferences I’ve been attending, out of habit rather than desire. I’m cutting those loose. And, I’m going to widen my foray outside of the Romance genre. More Sadie mysteries and another super cool project that I hope to reveal this spring.
Basically, while Romancelandia will be always be a part of my writing life, it will no longer be the center of it. Joy and creativity will take its place.
I’m hoping to get in one more post before the end of the year, but in case I don’t, I want to wish everyone a very happy Holiday season. Whatever you celebrate, be it Christmas, Chanukah, Solstice or anything else, may your month be steeped in good health and good fortune.
As always, thanks for reading.