We live in a pigeon-hole world. Compartmentalization is not only a ridiculously long word, it’s also an increasingly common way that creativity is stifled. When I lived in Los Angeles, I met one of England’s greatest comedic writers who’d scripted many famous British TV sitcoms. He told me that Hollywood had labeled him as a ‘30-minute writer.’ Regardless of his unquestionable talent for penning hilarity, he was never considered for sketch comedy, or any comedy scriptwriting job that might be an hour, or God forbid, two hours in length. While he bemoaned the fact, he explained that there were other writers who had been essentially filed under ’15-minute comedies only’ and ’45-minute comedies only’.
When I lived in Nashville and pitched my songs to record labels, they liked my music. Mercury Records in particular. The famous record producer Harold Shedd who’d signed Billy Ray Cyrus and Shania Twain, once told me I had “four number ones” after listening to several of my songs. But he said I was “too rocky” for the country market. Ironically, the rock labels in California had said I was too country for the rock market. Seems I simply didn’t fit into a musical pigeon-hole. It didn’t matter which pigeon-hole – I just didn’t fit into any one of them tightly enough to be marketed to that specific audience demographic.
Which brings me to writing novels. My first book, Fem Dom, is a book about the ad biz with a kinky twist. Of course, that meant to many that it must be erotica. Really? Kinky doesn’t mean erotic in my book (pardon the pun). I think Fem Dom is more akin to the drama/thriller variety. My second novel, Regression, is a murder/mystery tale but that brought the cry “what are you doing changing genres? I thought you only wrote erotica?” Lordy, I don’t even write erotica!
I’ve decided my next novel will be a comedy, then I’ll pen a romantic tale, then a sci-fi piece, followed by some zombies and then vampires thrown in for good measure. Pretty soon I’ll be pigeon-holed under ‘not pigeon-hole-able.’ I’m fine with that.
As far as I’m concerned, funny is funny, cool music is cool music and good writing is good writing. So follow your creative path, wherever it may take you, and don’t let the pigeon-holers grind you down!