So... everyone have a great weekend? I did. I celebrated my 32nd birthday yesterday with a bumper crop of books as presents, and hopefully should get a few more when I go down to my parents' on Thursday. I sound really spoilt, don't I? Well, books are all I'm getting. I didn't ask for anything else!
Birthdays are a time for reflection, and as I work on edits for my second novel, I keep thinking that I meant to have a book published by 30 (having started my first one at 26). That now seems incredibly naive, but I do feel a lot closer since spending the last year blogging and soaking up the advice, camaraderie and support of my peers.
On a related note, one big advantage I've found from this community is I now feel much more broadminded as to my reading tastes. I've enjoyed reading chicklit from one of my best friends in the blogosphere (you know who you are!) whereas previously I would have dismissed it as insignificant fluff. It's not; it's about relationships and emotions, which every writer needs to deal with.
And I've become much more open to YA. I wasn't completely unfamiliar with the genre, having read authors like Rick Riordan to my teenage stepson, and I've read Terry Pratchett's novels for younger readers. Generally, though, it wasn't something I'd ordinarily choose to pick up and read for myself.
However, among the titles I asked my mum for for my birthday were Veronica Roth's Divergent and Lisa Shafer's Confessions of an Average Half-Vampire. (I've yet to see if my wishes come true!) Both are YA books that I've seen being raved about, but I don't think I would have considered them without this community.
Lately I've even been having ideas that have a distinctly YA flavour. I think I've homed in on one of these for my debut attempt at NaNoWriMo. It'll be something really different for me, and I find that very exciting. I hope this won't be seen as bandwagoning; it is merely me opening my mind to other possibilities and ideas. Which is pretty much thanks to you lot out there! We need to keep ourselves fresh as writers, and crossing genres seems a good way of doing so.
So, the question I want to ask is: do you switch genres? How many different things have you tried? Have you found this is necessary to find the one you enjoy the most, or have you stayed on one track all along?
Don't forget to come back on Thursday when there will be a giveaway and more soppy praising of the blogosphere! :)