Monday, October 17, 2011
Feeling Lonely in the Blogosphere
I'm sick to death of YA.
And when I say that I don't mean I'm sick of reading it, because I'm not sure if I ever have read any. I don't even know where YA starts and stops. But I'm sick of it being... just... everywhere.
Some days it feels like all anyone in the blogosphere writes is YA and they're constantly talking about it and praising it and acting like it's the best thing since the advent of civilization.
And I get it, you know? My logical mind totally gets it. But every time I click on a blog post that's just going on and on about YA this and YA that... I just feel like I'm on the outside and I'll never fit in.
Because YA, to me, is somewhat lower on the totem of important things than, say, ceiling fans and laundry baskets to pick a couple of random things in the room around me that I could definitely live without.
I'm pretty sure I never really read YA. At least, not in the "I'm going to read the crap out of this book because it's YA and YA is awesome" sense. When I was a teen I pretty much just jumped right into the adult section. Man, I remember clearing out the Shakespeare section of the library after my first encounter with Romeo and Juliet in Freshman year of High School. (I also remember accidentally picking up a somewhat risque romance novel set in 18th century France that my mother would definitely not have approved of but that's another story.)
So I guess while I can acknowledge it intellectually part of me doesn't understand why everyone is obsessed with the doings of obnoxious teens. I mean, I wasn't, not even as a teen. I preferred to read about adults. And another part of me can't quite wrap my mind around why so many adults want to both read and write about teens as their chosen career. Seriously? Don't you want to leave that awful decade behind you just a little?
But really this isn't about YA, it's all about one very simple thing: I feel lonely in the blogosphere.
I came here to meet and mingle with people who are passionate about the same thing I am passionate about: writing stories. And I have. I've met tons of you and you're all fantastic.
But sometimes just the commonality of "we're all writers here" isn't quite enough. Sometimes I really want to find and get to know people who are passionate about Fantasy. And I have. The Patform Building Campaign gave me a list of dozens of writers who consider themselves writers of fantasy. But I go through those lists most of them end up being writers who write YA Fantasy which... I have very little interest in. And then another large percentage of them end up being writers of Urban Fantasy or some kind of Paranormal fiction. (Or both at the same time!) Which again I have very little interest in. Another group of them will be writers who categorize themselves as writers of "Science Fiction and Fantasy" but all the evidence points to them being mostly Sci Fi writers.
And I don't have anything against these writers. Obviously all of these subgenres share a connection. But Urban Fantasy and Paranormal and anything YA... I just can't even feel a good spark of interest in. I like Sci Fi, but it's not a genre I could ever be passionate enough to write in.
I have to admit that actually I am looking for people who are passionate about Epic Fantasy, or Imaginary World Fantasy. And even more specifically I am hoping to find other people who have a deep love for sub-creation and mythopoeia. Basically, I desperately want to find other people like me. Because I feel very much alone with my passion for a certain type of Fantasy. And that scares me. Sometimes it makes the little voices in my head say, "Maybe you are the only one. Maybe your stories will never sell."
My rational brain knows that can't be true. The Lord of the Rings wouldn't be the most popular Fantasy novel ever if that was true. But doubts have an awful way of sticking with you no matter what your rational brain says.
But besides all of that, there is just a part of every person that wants to befriend others who are like them, who think the same ways and love the same things. Sometimes the broad categories aren't enough. "Writing" isn't enough. "Fiction" isn't enough. "Fantasy" isn't even enough anymore. I crave the fellowship of people like me, who have a deep love and abiding passion for mythopoeic (literally: myth making, fantasy that attempts to create whole mythologies and is influenced by our real world mythologies) sub-creation (a deeper kind of worldbuilding) for adults.
Is it too much to ask?
Perhaps it is. Perhaps the writing blogosphere will always be mostly YA writers. But at least this little rant has helped to relieve some of the oppressiveness of the loneliness.
I hope all of you YA lovers can forgive me.