My writing landscape is vastly different to what it was twelve months ago. Back then, I was trying to push out genre fiction (which I love to read), trying to be some mystical combination of other writers rather than just listen to my own voice.
That just wasn't working for me.
Between then and now I've spent most of hours (mostly while trying to sleep) thinking about the stories I want to tell. And what I've discovered is they're not genre at all. That's been hard to come to terms with. My whole identity as a writer has shifted as a result. Believing you're one thing when you're not is not easy.
Yes, I'm funny, but I'm a better writer when I'm not.
Yes, I can write crime, but I'm a much better writer when I don't.
SFF is my mental vacation destination; I can't write it to save my own hide.
About a year ago I started with a short story. It was a whim, meant to impress someone else. It quickly evolved into a novel that wasn't sure what it wanted to be. That half-done manuscript sat on the fence for several months debating its literary label, until one morning I opened the file, put my hands on the keyboard, and asked, "Okay, what the hell are you?"
And the words came.
And now that manuscript is out in the wild fighting for its life. I hope it puts up as good a fight as my heroine.
I'm leaving genre fiction to the experts. They do it so beautifully. And in return I'll sit back and enjoy the stories they tell. I don't want to be them; I just want to be me.