Moving on from being YA

I find myself to be constantly evolving. Not only in my writing but in my life as a whole. The person I was when I embarked on my journey to get published isn’t the person I am today. I thought I knew the direction I wanted to go in with my writing. I thought I knew my genre, my style, my voice. It seems that the longer I strive for this the less I know.

I’ve always had a passion for writing, and I’ve always wanted people to read my words and feel something from them. This year I began to write my first attempt at seriously writing a novel. It felt great. The words were flowing, the ideas were strong, my characters made me proud, all the good stuff and warm feelings an awesome story should make you feel. But then I reached a point where I stopped and took a step back. I re-read what I had written and started to realize that although my words were good, they didn’t sound like me. They sounded like someone trying to fall into the young adult genre.

I made my characters younger, 16 and seventeen. However, as I wrote they seemed older in my mind, 18 and 19, and then the more I wrote they aged to 21 up to 25. These are not young adults. I was trying to make character who would fit in a genre that I am not meant for, only so I could ride the wave of many authors I love.

I adore YA books. They make me smile, they make me laugh, they remind me of my younger days. While this genre is not going away any time soon, the more I wrote the less I belonged. I’m not going to be the next Veronica Roth, Ally Condie or Suzanne Collins. I don’t even know an author I could possibly amount to because I no longer know where I fit in.

My goal was to write a great YA dystopian novel. It just doesn’t feel right anymore to do something I’m not convinced will be my forte. I still like the idea of dystopian societies or different world, but writing about teenagers no longer works for me.

Lately I’ve been reading more and more non YA books and I’m starting to fall in love with those too. Maybe I want to “grow up” with my writing and have it evolve as I do. Maybe I want to write chick lit, or romance, or something along the lines of Fifty Shades. I don’t know anymore, but I plan on finding out where I stand. I know I can get published (whether traditionally or through self-publishing. Pending blog post in my mind about that one), I just need to make sure that what I’m writing about is what I feel 100% comfortable with.

Over the next little while I am going to be testing the waters again. I’m going to be making attempts to connect with different genres and see which one tickles my fancy. Who knows, maybe I’ll come to the realization that I am best at writing a “choose your own adventure” book. Those things were killer back in the day. Maybe I could bring them back 🙂

All this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what has been going on inside my head these past few weeks. I’ve been wanting to write about so many thoughts and emotions I’ve been having but it’s been hard. My confusion and emotion have led to hesitation in my writing, which in turn has led to doubt. And doubt always hangs over my like this horrible cartoon rain cloud that every now and then strikes me with lightning.

Bah. I’ve got to move past the cloud and look for the rainbow. So new directions need to be taken and new challenges need to be accepted.

And no. This was not THE news. Although it is kind of pivotal in my future as a writer. So I guess it is news in a sense. Either way you guys will know THE news when you read it.

Happy Monday my lovelies!

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2 thoughts on “Moving on from being YA

  1. Good for you! Think outside of genres and do what makes you happy! So many people are trying to fit into to this YA phenomenon and I just don’t know why. I think people will be more inclined to read about older characters if people actually write them!

    I hope you figure out something to write that makes you happy! 🙂

  2. I’ve tried to figure out what genre or audience my book falls into as I write it. It’s maddening. I’ve adjusted in some cases based on that and regret it. I am trying to operate with the idea that first the story has to come out completely before I know the genre. The story wants telling … eventually it will find an audience. That’s my hope … wishing you luck. ~Gail

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