When left to my own devices, I tend to write fiction, which explains why I focused on it during my undergraduate studies. When I was younger, I wrote a lot of fantasy since it made up a significant portion of my textual diet, in addition to sci-fi (which I never seemed to make any forays into–I enjoy hard sci-fi and also was not tech-savvy enough to feel that I could accurately write it. Creating a world from scratch without things having to make scientific sense seemed easier). As I moved into late high school and early college, I started reading a lot of other things and lost much of my free time to write until I started actually taking creative writing courses.
Many people will tell you to “write what you know,” and while I agree with that to a certain extent, I also think someone as young as I am doesn’t have enough of a sense of craft to really do full justice to the experiences of youth. I’m not saying the situations and issues we deal with as young people are in any way invalid, but they’re poorly and excessively represented in the writing of young people–I get very sick of reading about someone getting killed in a car accident as the only source of tension or drama in a piece, and I get even sicker of every variation that has ever existed of college break-ups. While I think we can use the richness of our personal lives to generate spectacular work that should make up a greater portion of the published works out there, I also think young writers, including me, have much to learn and so much room to experiment that we should try writing a little bit of everything before settling into what we imagine to be our style or genre. It continues to be a dream of mine to write genre fiction and literary fiction. For the time being, I’ve shied away from “writing what I know” and moved into writing absurd, surreal, and magical realist work (bringing the fantastic into fiction without writing high fantasy, I suppose).
Check out my Fiction page to see my recent polished updates.
Once upon a time (as every young writer in their ‘teens does, admit it), I also wrote awful, angsty, “no one could ever understand me” poetry, and when I recognized how horrible it was and how stupid I was being, I stopped. Occasionally, I still delude myself into believing that poetry is accessible, that anyone (even me!) can do it, and you can check out those misguided attempts on the Poetry page.