Thursday, September 13, 2012
Have you been genre-shamed?
Last week, Rebecca made a great post about writer's owning themselves. If you haven't read it yet and need a bit of uplifting, I suggest you go read it now.
Today, I'm exploring the same subject but from a different angle. I want to talk about Genre Shaming.
For those who don't know, genre shaming is when a person makes derogatory remarks on a specific author or book due to its genre. For various reasons, said person believes this genre is an inferior brand of literature unworthy of their attention. They are often amazed anyone bothers to read this genre and possibly even scoff at and/or jeer those who do.
Young Adult has taken its fair share of knocks and bruises. Many people believe Young Adult is inferior in every way to Adult literature and that it's only acceptable for children to read in this genre. The general line of thought from these people is that if you're an adult and you're reading Young Adult, it's because you simply don't possess the intellect needed to tackle the Adult genre.
You and I know better. We may not be teenagers any longer, but our love for Young Adult literature has not lessened. If anything, it has only grown stronger, driving us to write stories to push the genre ever further into new territory.
I have dealt with genre shaming before. Correction: I deal with genre shaming on a regular basis.
It isn't easy. The person in my life who abhors Young Adult is very near and dear to me. I can't avoid them or cut them out of my life like I would someone else who has a negative impact on my life. It isn't that easy.
So I endure the genre shaming and occasionally let it get me down. They openly mock Young Adult while knowing this is the genre I write in. This person has commented on several occasions that the Young Adult genre is made up of the authors who couldn't hack it in the Adult market. It hurts on a regular basis. I have to cope with the knowledge that no matter how well I write my book, this person will never respect me as a writer.
To all those people who have dealt with (or are dealing with now) genre shaming, hang in there. I know how much it hurts and how much harder it makes it to write a book. I know how devastating it can be on your self-esteem and motivation. But don't quit. Keep doing what you love. Don't let another person's beliefs and opinions define who and what you are.
Does anyone have a story they'd like to share about genre shaming? Any past experiences or thoughts on the subject? Keep on keeping on, folks.