Image: via flickr

Image: via flickr

A friend sent me this article in today’s New York Times*:

Recession Fuels Readers’ Escapist Urges

Essentially, Motoko Rich’s article focuses on the success of the romance genre in the bookworld in the midst of the current economic realities. While other genres have seen stagnation or a decrease in the numbers of books being moved, romance has seen bigger numbers. The conclusion is that readers, amidst all the doom & gloom, want their books to have a happy ending. Apparently, the sci-fi and fantasy genres are also experiencing an upsurge. People want to escape.

So, I wonder, should I be changing genres & working on a romance or fantasy novel if I ever want to make a living as a writer? My WIP in progress is anything but a pick me up. The fact that one of my writing group members compared it to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar ought to give you an idea of how it’s playing out. I am 100% in the literary fiction category. And, while I hope that there is a sense of peace at the end of my story, it’s probably not going to be the happy escape readers often want.

In all seriousness, I’m not seriously changing genres. I’m sticking with this project. It is what I want to write. If it finds readers down the road, great. If not, whatever. Besides, I have no interest in romance, sci-fi, or fantasy genres. Chick lit is about as far as I stray from the literacy fiction genre. Although, given the fact that 3 of my writing group members are writing fantasy, maybe I should be thinking about turning my WIP into a sci-fi/fantasy version of Sylvia Plath. What do you think?

(Don’t worry, I’m still fulfilling my “no news” experiment. I wasn’t reading the NYT. Someone else sent the article to me. And anyways, I think anything book or literature related doesn’t count as news. For me, the news I’m trying to avoid is all the depressing stuff about the economy, the war, & politcs in general. Yes, I kind of like burying my head in the sand.)