Compared to previous summers, I’ve written a lot. I’ve been working on my novel, writing proposals, notes, and presentations, and as of two weeks ago, writing a blog. Overall, I would consider this a successful summer.
Tomorrow I leave for NASSR. As I pack and get mentally ready for the conference, I’ve been experiencing my normal anxiety about my paper: will people like it? what questions will people have for me? will my writing be as meaningful when I read it out loud? Many of these questions I ask myself to test the strengths of my paper. Some, though, are the questions that any writer asks herself before presenting their work before the public: will people like it?
This is the question that any writer asks, no matter the genre within which he or she works. Academics, fiction writers, poets–anyone with an eye for publication one day wants to know if other people will appreciate his or her work. Some of this can be measured by beta readers. But part of it is within the writer as well. The stronger your work is, the better chance it has for success.
I’m fairly confidant that writing across genres can only make you a stronger writer. After all, practice makes perfect, and the more you write, the more practice you get. Still, I have to wonder if one writing style can bleed over into another writing style. Does a paper originally written for a conference read differently than a paper written as a book chapter? Does a novel written by an academic read differently than one written by a non-academic? Will my paper reflect all the great writing I’ve done this summer?