If you're a writer, you were once a beginner If you kept with it and worked at learning the craft, you moved on to being an intermediate writer. Hopefully, you kept going and are a super writer today!
I was interviewed by a newspaper reporter this morning and one of the things that emerged from our question and answer session was that I originally wanted to write for children. I did that for a few years and then I decided to venture into other areas of writing. I tried writing about writing, which I'm still doing today. I made a stab at adult short fiction and I wasn't very good at it. Then, I tried my hand at memoir and personal essays followed by poetry. It turned out that creative nonfiction--memoir and personal essay--was my strong suit.
What if I hadn't moved out of the comfort of the first kind of writing I'd tried? I still enjoy writing short stories for middle-grade kids, but now I write more creative nonfiction than anything else. I've had more published in that category than any other along with articles on the craft of writing.
I would have lost so much had I never tried a different category of writing. I probably wouldn't be writing this blog. Nor would I be teaching workshops on writing at my state authors convention. Nor would I be having as many acceptances after submitting. Probably not as many rejections either!
Many writers write only one kind of story or article. Or only poetry. I think they may be missing something big. We need to step forward and attempt other types of writing. Never written a memoir piece? Why not give it a try? After all, every one of us has memories that can give us the basis for a short memoir story.
If you've always written nonfiction, what's to stop you from writing fiction? Lack of experience? Lack of self-confidence? Fear? You can overcome all of those. If you decide to try writing personal essays, read all you can about the form. Read examples of personal essays. Educate yourself to give you a springboard.
If you've never written poetry, who says you can't? Anyone can pen free verse. You don't have to be knowledgeable about meter and rhyme and other things. A free verse poem comes from the heart. It's writing your feelings or describing something meaningful to you. There's no reason you can't give it a whirl. If you find you like writing poetry, start learning more about other forms and keep practicing.
Note that I said 'keep practicing.' When you try a new type of writing, it takes some practice to reach a point where you are satisfied with what you've written, where you feel it is of a quality that you can submit it for publication or for a contest, and that you feel satisfied. That goes for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, creative nonfiction--whatever category you want to try. Don't give up too soon unless you know that you really don't like that particular kind of writing. If you don't like it, quit. There's no rule that says you have to keep on, but you'll at least know you tried it.
Even if you're completely happy with the kind of writing that you do now, move into new territory. There is no guarantee you'll like it, but it's worth trying. It could be that you find a whole new part of your writing world like I did. We don't need to be pigeonholed into only one kind of writing. Someone once said Variety is the spice of life and it became a well-known adage still alive today, so there must be something to it.
You were once a beginning writer; you can be a beginner in a different kind of writing, too.