Personal Writing Challenge

I mentioned in my post “Adversity or Inspiration?” that, with the help of life’s little twists and curves, my writing projects list has increased by a fair amount as of late. That’s a good thing when you consider the flexibility in choices for work each day. But, at the same time, I now have this huge pile of work to finish. A bit daunting when you look at it like that. Needless to say, I woke up this morning, powered up my laptop and became instantly overwhelmed at the possibilities for the day.

Instead of sitting here scratching my head all morning, I decided to take a break from my list for the day, but I wasn’t prepared to call the whole day off for writing.


Choosing one of my normal “break time” activities, I decided to check my social media stuff. I read a few blog posts and realized I was drifting closer and closer to that digital black hole that always tries to steal hours from my work day.


Well, I decided that I would take on a mini-challenge. I went to my Buffer dashboard and typed in:

“Just for fun – What should I #blog about today? (I feel like a small #challenge this morning). #MyWANA #amwriting” and clicked “post now”.

A few minutes later I received this in my Twitter Connections:

“@GRBliss You fave genre & why. Is it different from what you write?” from @caszarek

First, let me say thank you to @caszarek for answering my Tweet. Second, I want to share her wonderful site with you: C.A. Szarek Author

Third, (and last)… Write on! Challenge accepted!


Like most people who love to read, I can’t say that I like just one genre the best, but I do know what I tend to read most when I want to unplug from the real world for a while. I’ll break it down for you with two quick lists with examples of both genres and authors:

Genres: Suspense, horror, sci-fi, religious fiction, techno-thrillers, legal thrillers, psych-thrillers, (ok… let’s just say I like thrillers!)

Authors: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robin Cook, T.L. Hines, Frank E. Peretti, Daniel Suarez

That would be what makes up most of my “escape” reading time, but not all of it.


What a great question!

Quite frankly, I’ve never really thought about WHY I choose those genres more than others. Probably because I’m a workaholic and those genres have a great way of strong-arming a mind into the fictional realm.

Authors, however, I usually like for a reason.

Stephen King is one of my favorites because he tends to write stories that reach into the deepest, darkest places in our thoughts. Things that the rest of us think about, and most times would not admit, are put right in front of us in black and white. He also has an uncanny way of drawing us into our own fear and insecurity in ways that we don’t normally recognize. He makes me want to move to Maine for it’s beauty and the prospect of an exciting battle with evil forces.

Dean Koontz, to me, is a fascinating story-teller that keeps my imagination sprinting from one place to another. He also does a great job of creating “knowable” characters in believable situations. I am also pretty familiar with Southern California, so that’s a plus for me.

Robin Cook is most likely on my list because, to me, he’s a little like the Koontz of medical thrillers. A little less fantasy in the mix but we all know the famous quote about reality compared to fiction, right?

Dan Brown is fun for me because he works your logical mind in so many areas at once. The only problem I have while reading his books is that it’s often difficult to keep myself from putting the book down to research something from the story to find out where the facts ended and the fiction began.

Most of the authors that have earned my loyalty as a repeat customer for escape reading have done so because they share similar qualities.

If I were to write about everything I read, we’d be here for days. I will, however, do a random sweep of my “to read” pile (okay, piles) and give you another quick list of some other types of books and authors that take up my time.

(picture me running around grabbing books randomly. This should only take a minute.)

Okay, I’m back.

In no particular order – other than the way I set them down on my desk – here’s my random sampling:

It’s a big pile, but we’ll leave the rest for another day!

“Is it different from what you write?”

That was the last part of the question. The answer?

Yes and no. Mostly yes, in my opinion.

For me, writing is as much of an escape, if not more, than reading and I’m a creature of habit. That’s probably what drives me to the same places whether I’m reading or writing.

I’ll tell you what — I’ll give you a quick sampling of some of my current projects (without any explanation on my part) and you tell me what you think, okay? To be fair to both of us, the titles are just initial working titles and I’m going to give you my “first session of your fingers flying across your keyboard” version of each clip so that we don’t feel obligated to edit today (yeah, they’re going to be rough!), deal?

Great! Here they are:

Okay, now your turn. What are your favorite genres and why? And, if you’re a writer, how do they compare to what you write? Let me know by leaving a comment or sending me an email. And, like I said before, let me know what you think of my four little samples.

Once again, great questions @caszarek and thanks!

And to all – Thanks for spending time with me today!


Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine, ca. 1924. From the National Child Labor Committee Collection at the Library of Congress

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Photo by hobvias sudoneighm from Edmonton, Canada


2 Responses to Personal Writing Challenge

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  2. Bram Stoker Day! 100th Anniversary of his death in 1912. Timeline is flooded with all things Dracula, and I am really enjoying it.

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