Saturday, 11 June 2016

Not to be boxed in, to be able to transcend boundaries: for an artist, it's essential.—Shahzia Sikander

I'm not quite sure anymore how to define myself as a writer. Two years ago I would have told you I write historical fiction and historical romance. I began eight years ago with research-heavy historical fiction and loved it. Still love it. Then, I dabbled in historical romance, writing three novellas before writing my first Regency romance. What a romp! Lizzy's voice began as a whisper during that novel and I opened myself up to telling her story. It has led me to Mags' story and an outline for two other characters from Lizzy's tale. So, I spend most of my time writing young adult. Does that make me a YA writer?
This has been on my mind as I query and include links to my Twitter feed and the blog. The look and feel of the blog was designed to reflect my earlier writing. My bio, while revamped somewhat over the years, reflects the diversity of my writing choices. My blog entries are eclectic, truly rambling between writing thoughts and sharing moments of my personal life. They are inextricably wound. Will this mishmash of images be a deterrent to an agent? Do I look like someone who waffles, who lacks direction?

To this end, I decided to start a YA blog. It's a work in progress and any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated. It is a place where I hope to eventually add me, the YA author. Which brings me back to the original conundrum. Am I now a YA writer? The adage write what you know is certainly applicable for this genre. My career centered around the lives of kids and teens. I have listened to, cried for and rejoiced with the Lizzys, the Mags, and the Beckys. I am lost in their worlds once again and it feels a bit like coming home.

But, while I am not a person who lacks direction, I am a person who seeks stimulation, variety and change. I am still writing scenes for my Regency novels—I have two more mapped out. I am still chasing historical tidbits down rabbit holes and making notes for the sequel to Raven's Path, dabbling at writing it from time to time. When I hit a wall in my YA, I find turning to these pieces takes away anxiety and frees up my creativity again. Ultimately, that leads me back to my YA.

So, although I have finally come to the conclusion that I am, indeed, a writer, I fret and fuss about definitions and parameters. Do I need to? Must I be boxed into a genre, defined by it? Am I shooting myself in the foot by advertising that I write this…and that…oh, and, that too? Does it show versatility and unlimited potential or do I just look a tad aimless?

I suppose none of it matters at the moment. Perhaps, it will when I have representation and a book in the offing. Until then, I'm fairly certain, I will remain, metaphorically and concretely, rambling Rose.
Jack-of-all-trades in a box. J

1 comment:

  1. I understand these labels are necessary for selling and marketing literature but for a writer the only thing to remember is write what you're passionate about. I'm heading over to your YA blog!