Thursday, March 19, 2015

On Finding Your Genre as a Writer

So, why do you write what you write? Is that the simplest hardest question in all of the writing world? 
Many writers work in multiple genres, of course, but they almost always have a foundation genre, the one they are known for, the one they totally own. And as we all know, one of the major obstacles (okay, THE major obstacle?) of going from wanting to write to actually writing is figuring out just what in the world we're going to write about

For me personally, it happened somewhere in the year after college, when I was working in a bookstore. 
I had been a writer since the first grade, and by the final semester of earning my BFA (in sculpture, of course) I had decided that I was going to start writing again, and taking it seriously. But what to write? 
Well, spending 50 hours a week surrounded by books is a very good way to go, if you're a little shaky on what exactly you want to write. 
That's where I found Middle Grade. Ah, my people! 
I love reading every genre, from memoirs to cozy mysteries to high fantasy to fussy literature, but when it came to writing, there was something about the middle grade category that seemed so freeing, and open, and inspiring. I thought of all the books I loved to read when I loved to read the most - as a kid. Suddenly, I had all the ideas in the world, and all the energy to work on them, hour after hour, through the many years that would follow, while I learned what an agent was, and how submitting to publishers worked, and how fantastic and supportive the kid lit community can be even across the country or the world, because they told me all these things, and read my earliest, cruddiest work. 

So, when did you find your genre? Did you always know what you wanted to write? Are you still looking?  





Film Count 2015 : 61 
Watched this week:
(*not first viewing)

Listen Up Phillip
Magic in the Moonlight
Twilight
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2*
Top Gun*
Ferris Bueller's Day Off*
Somewhere*
Marie Antoinette*


Things that are technically TV shows even though I only watch them streaming on the computer: 15
New this week:

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Books of 2015 : 13
New this week:

The Map to Everywhere
Wonder at the Edge of the World 

3 comments:

Mirka Breen said...

WHAT? Yes, and important question to posit. I always knew I wanted to write for children, because that's when books mattered to me most. The "what" came in after I had lived a little... it had to wait.

Lily Cate said...

I totally agree - I had the hardest time finding something to work on as a young artist/writer, because I just didn't know what to say :)

Claudine G. said...

I loved reading MG novels when I was a child but didn't think I had what it took to write one. So I started off with preschool activity books, then to a picture fiction book about introversion (which didn't prove to be easier than MG) then two years ago, MG multicultural semi-fantasy. Exploration is good. I'm writing a bit of magical realism and mystery for adults recently and am just happy to see how they end up.