If you didn't know, I'm kinda sorta in the middle of writing a YA contemporary book. And by kinda sorta, I mean I WAS, but then I stopped to dig in on Transparent edits.
Now I'm terrified to get back to the WIP.
I always do this to myself! I think, "Oh, I'll try something new, just to stretch myself. Yeah, great idea! I need to grow as a writer." Then I kick myself about a month later when I discover that growing is HARD, and trying a newish genre is HARD, and why do I willingly put myself through this again?
I've done this several times, guys. Take Relax, I'm a Ninja—my first male MC. Or Hammered—my first attempt at YA sci-fi, about an organic girl living in a mostly cybernetic society. And Transparent—my first attempt at present tense, not to mention superhero-ish/alternate present-based-on-alternate-history...thing. This fall I went for my first true fantasy with Spork—my french-twisted steampunk adventure, plus elemental weapons.
Now I'm doing contemporary. Why? If I'm being honest, I was a little bored of the fantastical. I know, gasp. That's what I WRITE! But having experimented so much within contemporary fantasy (hello? dragons, zombies, ninjas, elves, super-powers, angels, wizards, etc.), I needed to see if I could write a book that didn't use fantastical elements.
Answer? I'm not sure if I can, and I really don't like that answer.
This contemporary business is hard and new and sometimes really fun, though maybe not right now. It's different, and I feel like a huge, flopping fish out of water—more than in any of my other writing experiments.
I have an intense admiration for contemporary YA authors, though. You guys are amazing, and you totally don't get the recognition you deserve. So I'm saying it here: YOU GUYS ROCK! And you work really hard to make your stories interesting and real and yet still magical, somehow. I'm jealous, because I suck at it.
But despite the suckage, I have committed to myself that I WILL finish this book. I will learn. I will stretch myself. Because no matter how hard my past stretching has been, good things have come from it. Great things, even.
I have grown as a writer, and allowing myself to try new things, I think, has played a big part in that. This book may never see the light of day, but I love it all the same. You know, when I'm not scared of it.