I'm both proud of my words, and horribly embarrassed.
While I can happily spend hours upon hours analyzing my own words (or those of others) with the members of my writing group and online CP's, I balk at talking about writing to anyone else.
If someone else brings it up, I'll change the subject, flip it off with a joke or a sarcastic comment.
I can count on one hand the number of people (in real life, not online) who know I write.
It's not something I'm comfortable discussing.
And that's 'cause I'm both proud, and embarrassed by my own words.
Oddly enough, the two are inseparable. It's because I'm proud that I'm embarrassed. Because I'm embarrassed, I work harder so I can be proud.
It's a vicious cycle :)
A while back, someone asked me in the comments why I write YA and whether I thought it was limiting my prospects and, I admit, I've been thinking about the question ever since.
One reason I want to write YA is because it's harder.
...which is why my cycle of pride/embarrassment is relevant.
Let me take this from another angle. In animation, or even just in figure drawing, the difficulty level is night-and-day different between drawing male and female characters. Males are super easy 'cause they're made up of hard geometrical shapes and straight lines. Drawing females is murder. They have so many soft curves/round shapes that they're incredibly difficult. Even harder is animating them and keeping them *on-model* because, literally, a deviation of a line's breadth can make a female character look overweight or anorexic.
...you get three guesses as to which gender of characters I primarily focused on while in animation school.
So why is YA harder? Well, for one, that's like comparing a 10 second commercial to a full length film. In a commercial, you have an extremely limited timeframe to sell an idea whereas in a full length film, you've got 90 minutes.
Writing YA is like shooting a commercial. The audience won't put up with filler, obvious preaching/lesson-teaching, over-written descriptions/etc. Older readers will give you the benefit of the doubt/patience and read work that younger readers will not. YA has to be clean, sleek, and efficient as possible and teens can smell BS from three miles away.
So that's one reason I write YA.
Another reason is because I like the themes of YA, specifically the struggle for self-identity.
Again, because I struggled so much with my learning disability growing up, and still do even today, self-identity/confidence is very much still relevant to my own life, and I think to almost every person out there who isn't a sociopath. I also think that (some) YA is so popular with adults is because it reminds them of their weaker self who was struggling to figure out who they are and where they belong.
In a way, I think it's an important theme that bridges the gap between age-groups.
Lastly, and most importantly, I just write what I what to write, and oddly enough, that just happens to be YA. Again, I think it's because of the themes that interest me... things like trust/betrayal/confidence/responsibility/etc, many of these just work better, and is more relevant, with younger characters, and appeals to younger readers as they are stepping out from under their parents' protection and gaining awareness of the larger world around them.
The themes, the age group of the characters, and the voice all dictate how a book is positioned in regards to categorization/audience.
Personally, I don't think a lot about categorization. I just write the book I want to write and figure it out from there.
As for the notion of limiting my prospects... well, that doesn't bother me. I've never had much of an interest in competing with other people because I spent so much time competing with myself. If I can write something I'm happy with, and others like it as well, I'd be 100% content.
I hope that answered your question, icyHighs :) If it hasn't, feel free to ask in the comment box, and if anyone else wants to chime in, you are perfectly welcome to do so :)
I'd love to hear about why you all write in the genres you do.