Overanalyzing What I Write

I know, I know. Two posts in two days. And as far as I know, August 2016 isn’t even a Blue Moon month.

I haven’t written much on my current series for nearly two months now, and I’ve been trying to figure out why that is.

I could plead that my calendar is filled with numerous other things to do and there are only so many hours in the day. That may be true, but that isn’t why I haven’t written.

Nor is it that I lack inspiration for the stories I want to tell. I have ideas constantly floating around in my brain that are just waiting to be set down in words. The first book is 99% complete, the second has about 20% of the storyline drafted, and the remaining two books in the series are pretty well outlined and only need for me to fill in the blanks.

So what then is holding me back?

I think the problem is that I’ve somehow gotten caught up in trying to overanalyze what I write, for whom I’m writing it, and why I even write at all.

I have no idea how to categorize my books into a specific genre. I write about love between people but it’s more than simply romance. I blend in some history, throw in a little fantasy or mysticism, and mix it all up with some suspense and/or mystery. It seems to me that what I write about is life. But there’s no genre called life.

And just who is my target audience? That seems to be as difficult for me to identify as the genre. So far, my main characters range between late teens and mid-30s, at least that is the period of time in their lives when most of their stories unfold. Does that mean I’m writing for the YA audience? Probably. Am I writing for adults older than that? Definitely. Women? Yes. Men? Uh huh. Children? No. It seems to me that I’m writing for people in their teens and older.

Okay, we’re getting there. I’m writing about life for people who are old enough to start thinking independently about their future. At least I managed to narrow it down a bit by eliminating children. I think now you can begin to see the problem I’m running into trying to figure out how to market my books.

Last, why am I even writing? Fortune? Fame? Neither of these really strikes a chord with me. Would I like to be compensated financially for my books? Of course, any author would like that. But money has never been a strong motivator for me. Nor do I have any burning desire to become a celebrity. Most commercially successful authors write full-time. I’m retired. I don’t want another job.

In my own small way, I want to help make the world a better place. When I look around nowadays, I see people becoming more and more frustrated. In their pain they lash out at each other both verbally and in physically violent ways. Many have lost any belief that the future can be better. So I do my best to create books that enable readers to take a brief respite from the pressures of the day and leave them feeling that things can improve.

So there we have it. I write books about life to give people hope for a better future.

You know, maybe I’ll forget about trying to sell my books for the moment and just go back to writing them. I still have lots more stories to tell, and the world is a long ways from where it needs to be.

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