At the moment, I am questioning whether I am using the best strategy for my writing career. I am adopting the butterfly method whereby I flit from children’s fiction to children’s plays to adult fiction. (By adult fiction, I don’t mean X rated stuff, I simply mean books for adults. The reason I am explaining this is that I had an embarrassing incident years ago when donating videos to my child’s school fair. All the ones I had seen donated were videos for children, so I asked if they accepted adult ones – the teaching assistant thought I meant porn and coloured highly when I thrust my “Pride and Prejudice into her hand.)
I am a writing butterfly, I flicker back and forth working on both adult and children’s fiction and I wonder whether I would be more effective if I was a mole, digging and focusing on one tunnel or book until I had reach my goal.
Being a butterfly has its positive aspects in that it keeps the writing schedule fresh and lively. It also means that if children think my kids’ stuff reeks, their mothers’ might like my physic detective. In other words, I’m not putting all my eggs into one basket as the old saying goes.
I do feel that being a butterfly has its negative side especially when it comes to marketing. It means trying to interest two sets of audience, which as any writer knows attracting a single one can be tough going, initially. It also means that I constantly have more than one plot, setting and set of characters going around in my head which can be like living inside a bee hive at times.
When I talk about being a mole, I must clarify that I mean someone who works on a particular novel but also has a blog and writes articles etc… I don’t mean that they only work on the novel they are writing at the time and nothing else whatsoever. The positive side to being a mole is that we can concentrate wholly on the piece we are working on, we might have ideas for future books in our heads but if it is a series with the same main character, it all helps to know this person better. I think it is the same with marketing, if we are sticking mainly to say writing vampire stories for adults, we can aim all our marketing energy into the one market; the output is far better targeted than that of the butterfly writer.
The negative side to being a mole writer is that the writing atmosphere could become a little staid for the writer after a period of time. Fundamentally, I think that the main problem is that if the mole concentrates for instance, completely on a series with an alien detective and it flops, the mole needs to start again; obviously, this is not a problem if the series is a hit.
I have to say that as a butterfly writer, I do question whether I would be better off being a mole. So what are you and is this because you have a strategy or is it because it is the only way for you to write?