Thinking Outside the Box

In the past I have thought of doing things outside my writing box as wrong, not focused, or lacking talent on my part. As I get older and have so many ideas and dreams in my head, I have changed my thinking on on the subject. I now believe it is time for me to think outside the writing box and explore other ways to use my writing talent.

Here is what I mean. For me, writing for children has been my dream. I have an accepted PB manuscript but as all of us knows, that takes months and maybe years to get any notice, monetary reward, or even to hold the hard cover in your hand. What to do in the mean time becomes either a spring board for new projects or it can keep you frozen in time waiting to see what happens with "the" one project you have accepted.

The world would have you believe you need to stay within your niche to become the writer you need to be and I believe to an extent that is absolutely true. But how does one discover if they have a knack for other writing if  thinking and writing out of the box is taboo? My philosophy is that it doesn't hurt to try your hand at other things, test the water, and here is the fun part....thinking outside the box.

I will always love writing for children. I get paid more at this time to write medical and nursing material ( what I know but not what I love to write about) . BUT I am also pursuing my passion with the love of fabric and quilts, primitives and owning a shop. AND writing.

The thread holding this all together is this. I have several projects going on at the shop that include designing my own patterns, writing the story that goes with it, and making some of the projects benefit Cancer research for children. I am working on a series of patterns for kids, a teaching series that will give them the foundation to learn about sewing and making things for others. I also have some stories based on the history of the town that will be attached to fabric bundles... a take away per say for visitors even those that don't sew or quilt.

The fact is, it has been fun thinking outside of the box. I still write my stories for children and have a set schedule for submitting and sending queries but I don't feel guilty for writing other things.

What do you do to think outside of  your writing box? Is there a type of writing that you would love to try? No time like the present to give yourself permission to write something outside of your niche. It is very freeing to write what you want without regard to if it will sell or if it fits a niche. In fact, I believe it gets the creative juices flowing.

Terri Forehand writes from her home in Nashville, Indiana. She and her husband have recently open a fabric and primitive shop in the tourist town where she continues to write for children. Visit her blog at  
She also has an author website at


Heidiwriter said...

When I first started going to writing conferences and workshops I kept hearing "we want something 'different'." But then when I started submitting my work, I heard, "Gosh, I really like this, but it just doesn't fit our niche." That was rather frustrating! But, I think one has to write from the heart and then find that one publisher who also thinks outside the box and loves it! Perseverance, that's the key!

Magdalena Ball said...

A timely reminder Terri. For me, I've always wanted to write sci fi but it's not a genre that comes naturally to me, nor do I feel comfortable with bug-eyed aliens and imagined worlds - I'm kind of stuck with the human race and earth, but I'm doing it anyway, right now, in my WIP and it's coming along. I think that you're very right when you say that we can't write for a niche or market - these things are fickle and hard to trend. It's easier to write what you love, what is meaningful to you and the rest will come.

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Wow, Terri! Sounds like you're making use of quite a few of your talents, abilities, and passions to build a wonderful LIFE as well as an interesting writing career. Kudos to you!

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Terri, I just love your ideas and what you're doing. Wishing you all success in your ventures. I try to write fiction but always fall back on my fail-safe factual writing.

Do You Have a Side Hustle?

By Terry Whalin  @terrywhalin Do you have a side hustle? Almost every writer has one but maybe you aren’t calling it a side hustle. I’m talk...