Today I'm talking about staying in your lane--aka writing in the same genre, sub-genre, whatever. Common knowledge is that you need to build your brand by sticking with one. Being known for one thing.
Yeah, or not.
I'm not arguing that might generate more of a tight following. If everything you write is of the same sub category, and similar, it can be easier for folks who love you to grab one of your books--aka an auto-buy.
But writing is more than just marketing. It is damn hard work and whether you are still pre-published or working on your 50th book, you need to love what you're doing or it will eat you alive.
I write Science Fiction/Fantasy. But within that I have a humorous fantasy series, a space opera trilogy, a steampunk series. I'm working on an alternative history elf crime novel, an epic fantasy, and others. I write what I love.
The trick is to realize that not all of your readers will follow. Just like not everyone likes the same books, not everyone loves all MY books. I do have folks who have read and loved them all. I have folks who loved the space opera and hated the fantasy. It can be scary when you know people aren't jumping to the next series.
But many do. And as a reader, I do too. If I want to write Gothic romances all of a sudden--I'm going to do it. Writing is hard, go where your heart is.
An aside, I get obsessed with different bands from time to time, and right now it's been Twenty-One Pilots. They have a song that made me think of staying in your lane. He's talking about music, but it's the same for writing ;).
They say, "stay in your lane, boy, lane, boy"
But we go where we want to
They think this thing is a highway, highway
But will they be alive tomorrow?
They think this thing is a highway
If it was our way, we'd have a tempo change every other time change
'Cause our mind's changed on what we think is good.
Do what feels right to YOU--switch lanes when the call comes. And Happy IWSG Day!