There is a very big difference between writing in the genre you were meant to write in and writing in a genre you think will be the most lucrative, just as there is a big difference between wearing a pair of shoes that fit and a pair of shoes that are a half-size too small. These differences may seem subtle and negotiable at first. You might think, “These shoes just need to be broken in.” Or as a writer, you might not think there is a big difference between writing a legal thriller and a romantic legal thriller. You might worry that the romance will just obstruct all the legal thrillering, and so you leave it out.
But just as a pair of shoes that is a half-size too small will pinch your feet for as long as you wear them, so too that non-romantic thriller will feel incomplete no matter how many times you rewrite it. By leaving out the romance you have left your complete self out of the story, and you will feel you have failed before the first rejection arrives.
What a relief when you find a pair of shoes that actually fit. How satisfying when you let yourself tell the story you were meant to tell, the story to which you can bring your whole self. This is called self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is a big deal when you don’t do it. The suffering, perhaps subtle at first, will never abate until you cease resisting who you are and have always been. You cannot change the kind of stories you love to tell any more than you can make your feet smaller.
However, the surprising thing about self-acceptance is how ordinary it is once you allow it. You will stop noticing how good shoes that fit feel once you’ve walked around in them for a couple days, and you will stop noticing how natural it feels to tell your authentic story after you’ve written a draft of two. It will feel so natural you may even doubt that this is self-acceptance. Where are the cymbal crashes and thunder claps? Where is the light from heaven? Why is it just you walking around comfortably, following the path of your own interest? I have asked myself this question many times, and have had to accept the simplicity of the answer every time it comes.