What's Love Got to Do with It?
A few weeks ago I posted about Why I Love Middle Grade Books. Since then I've wondered: Is it really necessary to love the genre you write in? For me the answer is a resounding YES! Below are a few of my reasons for feeling love - and passion - for my genre is necessary to be successful:
1- Development as a Writer
If you love a genre, that implies you read books in that genre. Reading loads of books in your genre (by talented and accomplished authors) is one of the best ways to develop your craft as a writer.
The age bracket of middle grade specifically requires a unique voice. Therefore, I must not only read lots of books in my genre (light fantasy/magical realism), but also in the middle grade age bracket (8 - 12). While we all need a unique voice in our work, each age bracket requires its own voice as well. Example: Young adults are using language in a much different manner than middle grade children.
3- Quality of Writing
The biggest reason I believe I should love the genre I write in, is due to the fact that my joy and passion as a writer can only come to the surface when I'm having fun. (How many times has a professional athlete been told: "You need to find your passion again. It should be fun playing basketball," or whatever.) The quality of our writing is directly related to how much fun we're having. If I tried to write in a genre or age bracket that I wasn't interested in, I know I would fail.
One of the things I always try to include in my manuscripts is a sense of the out of doors, as well as animals. This is a direct reflection of a passion I've had my whole life. If I was told I could not include those elements I would stop writing. While many writers make a living penning whatever they're assigned to write, I'm not one of them. I became a writer due to my love of stories. I've worked hard to become a writer who crafts quality sentences, scenes, and settings. But, that's not why I want to write children's books - I'm primarily a storyteller.
I find great fulfillment in crafting (and writing) fantasy tales for children.
While I'm sure there are numerous other reasons to enjoy the genre (and age bracket) you write in, these are just a few of my reasons for why love has everything to do with being a writer.
Happy Valentine's Day!