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Encouragement

What do Books and Leg Warmers have in Common?

DSC_0458[1]Happy Thursday from Jeanette! I tend to find illustrations for articles, devotionals, and blog posts in odd places. Last week for example, an experience that I had while shopping for shoes made me think more deeply about the writer’s life, specifically the genres we write in.

There I stood in the ladies’ shoes section, searching for the perfect pair of winter boots—something that I would love enough to wear to death. I picked up one particularly cute-but-overpriced pair of lace-up boots and suddenly realized that I liked them so much because I’d had a similar pair over fifteen years ago and wore them until the soles fell off. Another pair reminded me of some I had in college. Reflecting back on my trip through the clothing departments where argyle covered several displays and women in skinny jeans and long tops browsed racks, I knew it was official. The styles of my high school and college days had returned. Some of it I liked seeing again. I’d missed lace-up boots. And I was so glad that leggings had more than a quick repeat-blip on the fashion screen, because those are so comfortable. I’d never been an argyle person, but some of my friends look great in it.

Please say giant shoulder pads aren’t next. Or those awful ‘80s sweaters with the geometric designs. Or leg warmers. Please please PLEASE no leg warmers.

Like the fashion world, our favorite genres also seem to enjoy cycles of popularity. One year nobody wants YA then suddenly it’s cool again then it goes back into the vault for awhile. During one Christmas shopping trip to Barnes and Noble, the shelves are loaded with contemporary women’s fiction, and during next year’s trip every cover features a woman in a bonnet. About the time when many historical fiction authors were ready to wrap their manuscripts in homemade lace and tuck them into their hope chests, readers and editors started begging for it. The same happens with non-fiction topics.

For those who feel like they always have the clearance rack “nobody wants this anymore” manuscripts, this can offer hope. Keep writing knowing that one day argyle—I mean your genre—will be back in style. And you want to be ready when it is.

In the mean time, who wants to come up with a creative way to work leg warmers into an historical fiction story?

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