Have you ever read a story that made you forget about your own reality?
I’m not talking about Potterverse or Game of Thrones. I’m talking about going into a book and realizing you just spent the past five hours on the couch, chair, or bed and now your muscles ache. I remember that feeling of wanting to know what happened next at the end of the chapter. It was exhilarating and when it was over it was melancholic.
I’m doing a bit of going back in my mind to when I used to read every day for hours on end. Now I can barely get fifteen minutes in before I have to put the book down to do something. It has nothing to do with the book either. I don’t know if that “getting lost in a book” feeling has gone away now that I’m older or I just need to learn to either compartmentalize and focus on tasks better.
It doesn’t help that I only read Young Adult fiction my entire life (even up until college). I did read some Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway novels but it always took me way too long to finish. There was something about Young Adult fiction that just held my conscience long enough for me to escape. And that’s what I love about the genre. I think it’s because as a teenager, I was going through a lot: friendship issues, family issues, identity issues, etc. I didn’t know who I was or wanted to be. All I knew was that I wanted every person in my life to be happy — even if it meant that I wasn’t.
I’m older now and so much wiser. I do still try to make others happy, but I make sure to put my happiness first. But for some reason these “adult fiction” novels aren’t cutting it for me. (Even writing the words adult fiction only brings the wrong image in my head!) I try my hardest to get lost in their worlds these prolific authors create for me, but it’s so incredibly hard. Sometimes I can’t even imagine experiencing what the main character is going through. Even writing “adult fiction” is extremely hard. I don’t know what stories to tell. Maybe I haven’t lived long enough to be an adult. I don’t have those experiences — and the experiences I do have don’t make for great wholesome reads.
I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone when it came to writing. I love writing Young Adult. Those issues can be translated throughout fiction, romance, and fantasy. There will always be an opportunity to write about growing up, learning about yourself, finding a new skill, first loves, etc. But writing fiction for adults is a lot more complicated.
There’s a whole childhood that needs to be created. There’s a half of someone’s life that will not be experienced or brought to attention in the novel. Then there is the conflict. Adult conflicts are more complex than teenagers. Growing up you used to think “Oh, my life is so hard, I can’t do anything! I wish I were an adult.” And then you reach adulthood and you realize how wrong you were. Those problems as teenagers are nothing compared to the ones you meet as as an adult. And as an adult, you don’t get to ask for help because it makes you look weak or lazy. Oh, I could go on about how terrible our society is, but I’ll leave that for another day.
I kind of got off topic. So, writing content that helps captivate the audience. That’s what I’m trying to remember what I loved. But, I have to figure out what audience I want to write for. Can I do both? What if I have an idea that translates well for younger audiences and another that goes for older ones? Is that something an author can do?
Traditionally, if you write for one genre that’s all you get to do. But I’m not a traditional author and to be frank, I don’t think I’ll ever get there. I’m definitely jealous of those who were able to get there traditionally. It often makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong or why I can’t get to where others are (at my age). Do I lack motivation? Am I not confident enough? Do I not have the skill? I need to push those thoughts out of my head. I’m a writer. I’m an author — traditionally or not — I am a published author and that is something to be proud of.
I got off topic again… my apologies. Anyway, I guess the point of this blog is trying to figure out my plan of action for my writing career. Do I only want to be writing Young Adult fiction or will I find the calling for the “literary fiction” or just plain “fiction”? Was this something I should have figured out already?
I guess for now I’ll write whatever story that comes my way.
Thanks for reading!