A writer's growth
As writers we often tend to get stuck in a niche. We find one genre of writing that we are comfortable with and we tend to write only in that genre. The key to being a successful writer is being able to write in any given genre. If you can write in any genre it gives you a diverse portfolio. My portfolio has my award winners listed separately, then it has a listing of my other writing endeavors. I hold contests and write a blog every day so my "Activities and Contests" folder holds them. One may not consider a contest writing but the owner of the contest must know WritingML to post the contest properly. Then one must clearly define the rules, etc.
My portfolio also includes Christian writings, short stories, science fiction, westerns, and of course poetry. The poetry runs the gambit from French triolet and Roundeau to English sonnets, Japanese haiku, and many other Asian forms.
The fact of the matter is that I was afraid to even try many of these forms initially. The only things I wrote were old fashion rhyme and science fiction short stories. Then I began to push myself to try other genres and found that I wrote them as well as the science fiction and old fashioned rhyme.
The first thing I did was begin entering contests. One month I entered every contest WDC had to offer. I won several of them and my trophy room went from one awardicon to seven. I also won first, second, and third place in many contests that did not award awardicons. These show up in my award winners folder with ribbons in the illustration that I found as public domain online and placed on them to identify them. Many of my merit badges have come from contests as well. None of this would have been possible had I not taken a risk and started writing in genres I had never written in before. A huge surprise for me came when I decided to broaden my horizons and write in the horror genre. I never would have believed I could ever be successful at writing horror but I wanted to give it a go. My first two horror stories were both featured in newsletters and one won a ribbon for first place and was nominated for a 2016 Quill Award! I learned to never discount myself as a writer.
Today I am attempting to take my writing to a whole new level and start writing for a living. As a veteran of the US Army I qualify for healthcare through a government agency known as the US Department of Veterans Affairs. One of the programs the VA offers is a program that helps veterans who are disabled find and maintain employment. My worker through that program assessed me and decided to find me a job doing what I do best : writing. She ran onto a couple of leads with local television stations where I would work writing and editing reports, ads, and other such stuff. She is also checking with a local classified ads magazine to see if she can secure me a position crunching words in classifieds down to the classifieds one often sees in newspapers.
None of this would have been possible had I not decided to step outside of my comfort zone as a writer. I want to encourage any who are reading this to push yourself when it comes to your writing. There truly is no limit to where your writing can take you.