My writing has really changed over the decades that I've been writing. Back in my thirties, I was focused on screenplay writing. I read everything about how to write screenplays. Then I tried my hand at it. I wrote a psychological thriller about a neurodivergent young man who overhears some men plotting something that sounds nefarious. It was an exploration of how lines can be blurred and those coping with mental illness can be marginalized.
Next came a comedy about a teen trying to expose the dark side of everybody's favorite teacher. Then, I tried my hand at short stories. Next came detective novels - my favorite genre. My main character was an African American private detective. My first iteration was her trying to solve a murder that took her to the world of politics. The next iteration was for an editor from a publisher who thought it would be better as chic lit. So the detective became boy crazy and took a job trying to figure out who was stalking a teen pop star. Boy, was that a challenge. Writing long-form fiction is nothing like writing screenplays or short stories.
Then came Bible-based workbooks. I enjoyed exploring the Bible and writing workbooks for students on Judeo-Christian fundamentals and the wisdom of Proverbs. Then I had a dream. There were kids in a library being chased by dinosaurs! I remember being amused in the dream and woke up and wrote out the dream. I didn't do anything with it back then.
Finally, I ended up getting into a master's program for creative writing. It was my intention to give long-form fiction another go. I had a great time in the program. It was challenging, and I grew so much as a writer. But toward the end of the program I discovered that I didn't really want to write a novel.
What I wanted was to do something with the book that I dreamed.
Life is so surprising. I would never have thought I'd write a children's book, but it has been the most fun I've had. The lesson here: be. open. When life opens a door, at least peek around the corner. Take a step in. Try something new.