Saturday, April 27, 2013

Genre Writing

If you can't tell, I like GIFS... and Spongebob.
I've been thinking a lot about what I write lately. A couple of different things have popped up that have really got me thinking about the fact that I write Young Adult. First was over Winter Break when I started looking up MFA programs that I wanted to apply to. I knew most of the programs wouldn't have any kind of YA type things but I wasn't prepared for the fact that almost all reputable programs say specifically no genre writing. This really got me down. But I've talked to my sister, who is getting her PhD at University California Riverside and my personal mentor, and she helped me realized something. Just because I don't get into my program off my YA writing does not mean I can't still write YA.

Another thing that happened was I recently applied for a position at the schools undergraduate literary magazine Grassroots. For my interview I had to bring them a writing sample. I know most people look down on YA writing as not real writing, so I decided to bring in one of my non-YA works. This also made me realize, and I will restate, most people look down on YA writing. For all you YA writers out there, you know this stinks and is a common thing. It really is a bummer that most people see YA writing as not real or not good.

The third thing that happened that made me think about it was an article I read on YA Highway's blog. It asked the question, do you read outside your genre. My answer is yes. I have to. Because of my school classes I am required to read almost exclusively things that are out of the genre that I write. I think this is good for me though. It really helps me improve my writing. However, it makes me realize how little YA is read in college and the fact that it really isn't credited well.

I know I have led you down a long and depressing road of what seems like anti-YA but I have a point. The thing is, if you're out there and are like me, feeling like YA isn't looked upon well, then what I have to say is, forget them. Really all that matters is you're writing, right? You're doing what you love, no matter what genre. While I think it is a good idea, and very important, to read other genres, just remember to stay faithful to what you love. Don't let someone else persuade you that your writing will never be good enough because the characters aren't the right age, or the fact that your setting may be a little fantasy. Do what you love, and forget the rest.

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