Have you ever questioned whether or not the genre you’re writing is really the genre you want to be writing? Have you ever been like, “Why do I write (insert genre here)? I don’t even like writing (same genre)?” Has that ever happened to you? Tell me I’m not the only one!
So three years ago this month, I was in the middle of revising the last vampire story I wrote. This is important. Because after I wrote this story I made in change in my writing. It’s also important to note that writing this story wasn’t hard – after I got over the normal new story anxiety, of course. The thing is, I haven’t written a single thing since that wasn’t hard to write. Do you know what I mean? Since this story, I have struggled with absolutely everything I have tried to write since. EVERYTHING.
I would be super gung-ho about something for about 10k words, sometimes 25k words, only to suddenly drop it. Something about the stories are just nagging me.
One day I sat down to write and immediately wanted to crawl back into bed and cry dramatic, hot lava tears.
Finally, I asked myself if I even liked what I was writing.
No, this isn’t another vampire rant. The little monsters wore me out. I bring it up because I feel like what I’m looking for is a story that makes me feel like this story made me feel when I was writing it. It’s not that I didn’t run into issues. I did. It’s just that it wasn’t HARD to write. I didn’t have to force myself to finish it. I couldn’t wait to see how the story was going to end! I didn’t have to force myself to edit it. I LOVED editing that story – I didn’t want to stop.
THAT is what I’m looking for. I’m looking for something I can’t wait to work on in the morning. I’m looking for something that will get me out of bed. I’m looking for something that I can keep writing despite whatever obstacles come my way and whatever crap is going on in my brain.
I do really like some of the stories I’ve written since then, but it doesn’t pain me to shelf them. It PAINED me to shelve my vampire story. That is what I want. I like DISCORD and I feel like it is the best estimation of my tastes and skill that I could give at the time I wrote it. But that story was so freaking hard to write.
To me, that means something is wrong. I’ve been writing my entire life. It’s not normal for me to have to drag myself kicking and screaming to the computer.
So, I really had to ask myself if I liked what I was writing. And the short answer is: No, I don’t. Everything I write lately feels forced, and I think I’m finally starting to see what the problem is. It’s not the genre. The genre I live in is my heart and soul. It’s the category. I don’t hate YA. I read it all the time. But just because I like to read something, doesn’t mean I like writing it. One of my favorite genres is Historical Romance. I do NOT want to write a historical romance. And I love the ever loving crap out of fairy tales and portal fantasies. Can’t write one to save my life. Different genres and categories just have a different tone. And it probably goes without saying, but just because a book has a teen protagonist, doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for the young adult category. Not all teen protagonists are in the YA section. We know this.
This is what happened. After I decided to give my vampires a break, I decided to try writing YA. While I had technically written YA, I had never purposely written YA. We all know I’m bad at labeling my stuff. So, I started aging down my main characters and making other changes so I could squeeze my crap into the YA category because…reasons. It was most likely because I had just queried for the fourth time only to be no closer to getting published than I was when I started, so I decided to try something different. I really don’t know, but it sounds like something I would do.
In any case, I tried it, because I will try anything, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. The problem I ran into though is that I’ve been stuck in it ever since and dumping a lot of other ideas because they wouldn’t fit in the YA category, and that is just stupid.
This isn’t to say that I’m not going to write YA anymore. I’ll write it if I want. I’m just saying I’m putting a ban on it right now to see if that helps with this writing funk I keep slipping in and out of. I honestly hate to bail on another story, because I know it makes me look like I have the worst case of writer’s ADD ever, but I promised myself I would stop forcing crap, so I’m stopping. Why be miserable?
I wasn’t going to say anything, but part of this blog is about my writing journey, and this is part of my journey, so I thought I’d get it off my chest. Maybe I’m not the only one who’s forced myself to write something I’m not all that crazy about writing to see what would happen? At least I hope not. 😐
Anyway, I am in the early stages of a new project, but again, I don’t want to say anything about it until I know I’m not going to bail on it. Cause we know I’m prone to bailing, and it’s kind of embarrassing.