First off, a big “HELLO!” and welcome to the Fabulously Young ePubs Blog! Here you’ll find tons of great new YA authors and it’s our hope that, while you’re here, you’ll always find great ways to connect with each other and tons of great advice on writing, publishing and even promoting YA literature.
Who am I? My name is Rusty Fischer and I am the author of Ushers, Inc. and a bunch of other zombie, vampire and werewolf stuff. Well, not so much the werewolf stuff so far, but… that’s coming.
I mention it only because it has to do with today’s post, about finding your fit and settling in where you feel the most comfortable – but still stretching and growing while you’re there. Now, onto today’s post:
Okay, so I was submitting some of my YA zombie stuff to an anthology this week and the editor casually mentioned that they had some room left in a few of their more “adult” anthologies. He didn’t mean erotic adult, necessarily, but horror adult.
Now, here’s the thing: I’ve tried writing grown-up horror stuff. You know, “adult” horror where you can cuss and slice and dice and kill and maim as much and as gruesomely as you like and no library will try to burn your book as a result.
I say I’ve “tried” writing that stuff because I’ve never actually finished any of it.
That’s because well, frankly, it’s embarrassing to read. I confess that I’m always embarrassed to read my own stuff just a little, but reading this stuff is just painfully, excruciatingly embarrassing!
It’s bad. Like, “Why did I ever think I could be a writer in the first place?” bad!
That used to bother me. I thought, “I’m a writer, I should be able to write anything, anytime, if only for the creative exercise.” But there are some genres where I just don’t “fit.”
I’m not saying that if someone locked me in a basement with a laptop and put a gun to my head and said, “Write an 80,000-word creepy, crazy adult horror novel while I stand here for days on end watching you type” I couldn’t, but… is that really the mental place I should be when starting a new project?!?
I’ve never been one of those writers who’s thought of writing as a “chore.” Yes, it’s hard work and lots of it, but I actually look forward to doing it and want to keep it that way. I get excited when a new story idea pops into my head or as I’m wrapping up the last chapter of an old one. I look writing back cover copy and query letters and settling into a groove with this character or that.
I’m not saying I don’t keep an eye on my word count and look forward to when I can tie a bow around another completed project, but I’m saying it’s not like digging ditches or parallel parking an 18-wheeler, either.
And craft? Shouldn’t we always be pushing ourselves just a little bit more? Trying new things, in new ways, as often as possible? Sure; absolutely. But… why can’t I do all that stuff where I’m the happiest? Where I fit in the most?
As writers we should always stretch our comfort zones, but I’ve found that I’m the happiest and at my most inspired when I’m “creatively comfortable.” I like writing YA. I’m comfortable there; creatively, physically and otherwise.
My voice rings truer, my sensibilities match up and it’s a good “fit” for my inner 17-year-old who would still rather cover his office walls with cheesy B-movie posters than framed wall art from Bed Bath & Beyond.
So when I stretch, when I grow, when I try new things or get a little bit edgier or switch from zombies or vampires to werewolves and ghouls, well, I want to do it where I feel most comfortable. And that’s okay.
How about you? Where do you feel most creatively comfortable? And how comfortable are you in how many genres?
Yours in YA,