At least I'm pretty sure I write standalones. I don't know why this makes me feel a wee bit insecure, but I suppose it has something to do with MG and YA being fairly series-heavy. Kids like series—I've seen it time and time again with my younger siblings and the kids I teach in church. Once they find something they love, they want more more more of that one thing until they can't possibly get anymore. And even then they still want more.
So yeah, I get a little freaked out sometimes that I am debuting with a standalone novel. And guess what? My second novel is also a standalone. And if I sell another...yup, it'll most likely be a single contained story.
Not many people have read my work, but still the most frequent question I hear is: "Is there going to be more?" When I say no people are sad...and, to be totally honest, I am oddly pleased at that sadness. I'm HAPPY that people want more of my characters, but I'm of the opinion that I'd rather leave you wanting more than write a sequel you'd be disappointed in.
I'm not all the way there, but I'm starting to embrace the fact that this is how I write. When I set out to tell a story, my goal is for the reader to close the book, smile, and do that happy sigh thing. I don't like leaving a ton of loose ends. I certainly don't like cliffhangers—okay I despise them. Of course there is always more story to tell, but I like to leave that in the hands of readers. You can decide how it continues.
In my heart, I love writing standalones, but the pressure to write series sometimes makes me wonder if that's the right thing to do. Ultimately, I think it is for me. At least for now. It's easy to get caught up in "what would be best for my career," but in reality being happy is the best thing you can do for yourself as a writer and for your readers. Embracing your style is all you can really do, because when you try to be someone else it shows...and not in a good way. Writing is a lot of work, and I've finally gotten to the point where the most important thing for me is loving the story. If I don't love it, investing all that time to make it a book won't be worth it, no matter how commercial or successful it might be.
So yeah. I write standalones. I'm cool with that, and I hope you will be, too.