The dreaded moment... after you tell someone you're a writer and they ask you, "What do you write?" GULP
I'm completely guilty of being embarrassed or at a loss for words about half the time. First of all, I don't really have just one genre. I've written three books, and all three are different. Narrative Non-fiction, adult cozy mystery, and YA. So I usually stumble trying to explain that I'm not a genre schizophrenic, I just have varied interests.
But it goes beyond that. Part of me is a little ashamed that I'm not writing the next great American novel. I'm GASP writing mass market commercial stuff. I feel like that somehow makes me less of a writer, like I'm not as smart, or my stuff is lower quality. I'm sure some of it's in my head, heck, probably most of it. But have you ever noticed that there is a sort of pecking order of writers? Genre snobbery if you will.
At the top of the food chain, you have the literary writers. The purists.
Next you have contemporary fiction.
After that, it's all about the genres looking down on each other.
The horror guys are psychos, but thank goodness they don't write trite cozy mysteries with cats.
Suspense writers may be delusional and wish they were spies, but they're glad they don't write squeeky clean romance.
Sci fi folk are nerds, but they snicker at the sparkly ab vamp teens.
And people that write erotica are so ashamed of themselves, they never publish under their real name.
If enjoyment is equal to quality, than some classics are the most poorly written things on the planet. I fully admit to relishing a grocery store urban fantasy way more than Mice and Men.
Well, I think I need to stop beating myself up. I'm going to be proud of my quirky, conversational style. So what if I can't write "literature", I'll make you have fun and forget about your life for a few hours.
So next time someone asks you what you write, be proud of what you are as opposed to being ashamed of what you're not.
Do you feel like people prejudge your writing as less than stellar before they even read it, just because you write LDS fiction? Tell me about it. Get it out, like MWA - Mormon Writer's Anonymous.