What’s wrong with being diverse? Nothing! I have come to notice just how eclectic my tastes in things like music, reading and cinema are. And it’s reflected in my writing where I’ve dabbled in romance, historical, comedy, horror and everything in between. But I’m not worried. It’s just me.
At work we have undertaken Myers Briggs personality testing. I don’t particularly like being a bunch of letters but I do always think about what a different bunch of personalities I am. I don’t mean that I call myself Betty on a Thursday and become Vena the Valkyrie on a Sunday night but I do mean that I am different according to the situation I’m in.
I am mother, wife, daughter, work colleague and would-be writer. All these personas have different characteristics – some are strong, some are funny, some lack confidence (bet you can’t guess which!) and all of them combined together are me.
The same with books and music. I can be just as comfortable with classics such as Jane Austen, chick lit like Lisa Jewell or Erica James and fantasy like Suzanne Collins. In the last year or so I’ve read some mind-blowing stuff – To Kill a Mockingbird (finally!), The Book Thief, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns and some real fizzers labelled as classic but that failed to penetrate my soul (they shall remain unnamed).
My iPod would reveal my very eclectic taste in music from ABBA to Amy Winehouse; from Queen to King of Pop, Michael Jackson, from classic 80s heart-throbs Duran Duran to the new-to-me, divine Paris Wells.
With my writing I’ve used various voices and don’t feel I’ve developed a sole style yet. I’ve tended to let the voice come to me and then bash out the words. I know a story is all wrong when I can’t get the right feel to the voice – then I either re-write it totally or abandon in half-finished. I have written a few stories where the character sometimes takes over me and writes the story themselves – I love those ones. Other times, I’ve had to write, delete, write, delete for hours until the voice fits.
Maybe one day I’ll find my own unique style. Maybe I’ve got one now but am too inexperienced to recognise it. Whatever the truth I’m enjoying trying my hand at different genres and voices and will write whatever flows if I feel in my bones that it’s the right tone.