I'm wearing my ugly sweater. It's orange. At least one size too big. It's stretched out, has a stain and several snags, and the color doesn't flatter me. At least that's what Color Me Beautiful tells me. (Psst...I'm a "summer." You can find out your season HERE.)
Photo by TheUglySweaterShop
But let's put the color analysis behind us. Why do I even own this ugly sweater? And why, when I know it's as unflattering as can be, do I insist on wearing it?
It's comfy. It hides my extra pounds. It goes with all of my jeans (since it really shouldn't be worn with anything, by default, it goes with everything) and my sweat pants (should you ever wear a sweater with sweat pants?).
I know I shouldn't wear my ugly sweater, but I can't resist.
I know when a sweater flatters me. It shows off my assets and minimizes my weak spots. The color makes my skin glow instead of washing me out. The material caresses. A scratchy sweater is not a good fit!
The same goes for my writing. I've written different genres, and some fit better than others. I spent a lot of time analyzing what genre best suits my voice. Styles come and go. Will I always write this genre? I don't know! But it's my favorite now. It shows off my assets and minimizes my weak spots. I also carefully consider a book idea for length. Will it be better suited for a category length or a full length novel? When writing and revising, I work hard to develop the theme so it caresses, leaves the reader satisfied.
We don't want to write a book because it feels comfortable. Maybe we've explored the theme in a previous book, or we've read several books with a similar plot. Comfortable isn't going to stand out. It's like the seventeenth rip-off of the Twilight series or eating eleven donuts in a row. Not very satisfying. For the writer or the reader.
Maybe it IS time to throw away my ugly old orange sweater. It's just as easy to pull on a pretty, flattering one.
Do you ever pull on an ugly sweater? Do you ever fall into these writing traps?
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!! Love you!!
Have a fabulous day!