When I first started writing, the topic of genre confused me. It wasn’t that I couldn’t recognize a work of fantasy or of science fiction. I grew up reading JRR Tolkien, after all. The problem was that it was difficult to identify genre in my own work.
The more I write, the easier it becomes. I’m lucky that way: my latest work is young adult soft sci-fi. The one before that was a little more confusing. I thought it might have fit in the new adult arena, but my favorite beta reader assures me it needs to be categorized as literary (fortunately or not, that seems almost like a death knell for any story). The one before that was adult literary with elements of paranormal.
Part of me likes not being pigeon-holed into any one genre. The works I’ve had published qualify as fantasy, which is something I never thought I would be writing. One thing I’ve realized is that if I try to pigeonhole myself into only writing one genre, I miss out on a lot of possibilities.
I guess I don’t really have anything particularly concrete or insightful to say about this. It’s just something I’ve been considering a lot lately, because we all define ourselves by the things we do. That’s no different for me as a writer than it was when I was a massage therapist specializing in deep tissue work with a side branch of Reiki.
How about you? Do you like to stick to one genre, or are you a jack of all trades like I am?