I remember when I all I wrote about was horses. My first three or four books were written about girls and their horses and the wonderful adventures they had throughout their lives. There was death and struggle and triumph, but mainly it was about horses.
Clearly, I’ve branched out. I jumped from writing JV books about animals to a 101,000 word novel about an occultist stalker, a young police officer, and an estranged family. WHERE THEY LET THE CHILDREN CRY was a huge leap for me, and I was often confused and baffled about the whole process of my newest WIP. I was fourteen years old and trying to write about adults and adult problems. In result, the “adults” acted a lot like children.
Regardless, changing genre and intended audience did a lot to make me grow as a writer. I was no longer writing about girls like me. I had to learn to write about police procedural and broken marriages and seven-year-old girls and psychopaths.
That was and still is a big deal for me. WHERE THEY LET THE CHILDREN CRY is a novel close to my heart, and although it’s nowhere near being ready for public consumption, I know it will be one day. I wrote the novel over the course of eighteen months and then set it aside. I need to grow as a writer and as an adult before I can rewrite that one, and I’m more than content to wait.
The whole thing reminds me of something my creative writing teacher, Jeff Hardin, told my class: “Remember, you’re writing for now and for later.”
At fourteen and fifteen, I wrote JV novels that were for my at-the-time now, and a serious, experimental novel “for later.” I’m not quite sure when my later is, but in the meantime I’ll write some more for my now.