Genre is like an index. You are put there so people can find you. We always need to think about how others can find us. How they can hear us, can see us.
When they do, it’s what only we have that keeps the right people around.
Genre is a labeled box.
Genre is a platform.
Genre is a stage.
Genre is index.
Genre is an opportunity given by the stability of an ecosystem.
But in the core, genre is the part of what you do that shares with a bunch of other people’s work. It’s the general theme that connects different paths.
Idiosyncrasy is the reason for people to stare, linger, and stay.
Idiosyncrasy is the texture, the smell, the waves on the surface of a still lake.
Idiosyncrasy can be a disruption, too, when it’s strong enough. When it’s so disruptive that others might follow your lead, so that they will need to make another genre for you.
But idiosyncrasy is also going to be the reason why you are remembered for being who you are.
I think the way I’m putting it makes everything daunting to me. My first reaction was like “I will never be able to ‘disrupt’ anything”, “oh gosh I don’t want to put that much pressure on myself!”
But the way to do it should be simple, right?
I’m learning to sound like myself. I’m learning to listen to how I sound like when I’m being myself. But the answer always appears where I’m not looking. Not to sound too “Asian mysterious”, but “sounding like yourself” is something that you can only find when you are not actively looking for.
So I’m just reading, and writing.
I’m figuring out what I like, what I don’t like. I’m writing by imitating the things I like, avoiding the things that turn me off, believing one day I will be able to say: “This is me. This is how I sound like. This is what makes me remarkable.”
1 thought on “Genre vs. Idiosyncrasy”
I think that’s exactly why it’s important to read both the books we like and dislike. Just so we’re more aware of where we stand in our writing, and how we want to develop uniquely as a writer. Anyway, thanks for this post!