The Curse of Anti-Conformity

Writerly Rant #62

By M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor. Freelance Writer.

I happen to be one of those people who goes against the grain… if you tell me I can’t do something, I’ll do it just to spite you – case and point with my education. My father refused to pay for me to attend university to become a teacher – I spent one year in community college doing something I didn’t love on his dime before telling him I was going to university with our without his blessing… then, in university I was told I shouldn’t do a double practical placement with teaching and theatre production – I did it anyway and became the second person in the history of the school to have completed the feat.

I’ve been ornery and stubborn like this my whole life. I never bothered with makeup because I’d rather play sports at recess than gossip with the girls. If someone told me you don’t cross so-and-so because he’s the big-cheese of the school, I never let him intimidate or bully me. I was terrible when it came to comebacks but I was great at not letting the world see just how much it hurt me.

Fast forward to today… where has my tenacity gotten me? I have a penchant for writing YA/Crossover Fiction. What’s that, you ask?

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of New Adult Fiction… that joke of a genre that attempts to proclaim its transitional nature between Young Adult and Adult Fiction that really only focuses on a narrow aspect of humanity. At present, NA tends to be writing for 18-25 year-olds that focus on the whole new set of “firsts” this age group faces: post secondary education, first real job, first serious relationship… you get the idea. Problem is, traditional publishers have decided that NA should focus mainly on the relationship aspect of this sub-genre mixed with the scholastic aspect and call it a day.

So what about the rest of us who write for that exact same age group but neither romance nor education are the true focus of our writing? Better yet, toss all these awesome firsts for New Adults into another world, alternate dimension, or other Speculative Fiction sub-genre add in a healthy serving of excitement and adventure for those YA readers who loved Harry Potter, Ender’s Game, etc. and suddenly we’re listed for Adult Readers.

Or are we?

Bookstore managers and owners I’ve spoken with are using the term YA/Crossover to help identify those of us bridging that gap who don’t conform – who have a public we desperately need to reach but have been left behind in the genre wars.

It figures that in yet another aspect of my life I’ve chosen to take the hard-route because its what I’m passionate about. I’m trying to build a life around writing to prove to those I love that it’s a viable way to earn a living and I’ve gone and taken the most difficult path a writer could as she tries to claw her way out of obscurity.

But I can’t help it. Why should I have to bend and mold myself to someone else’s expectations just to be recognized and seen as yet another label – being a writer should not be dependent on trends and gossip. If you have a story to tell and tell it well, the world should be able to enjoy it equally with their bread and butter in the mornings.

Melissa6 portraitM. J. Moores began her career as an English teacher in Ontario, Canada. Her love of storytelling and passion for writing has stayed with her since the age of nine. M. J. relishes tales of adventure and journeys of self-realization. She enjoys writing in a variety of genres but speculative fiction remains her all time favourite. Time’s Tempest: The Chronicles of Xannia is her debut YA/Crossover science fiction novel.


Categories: Rants, Writerly Rants

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3 replies

  1. I really enjoyed this piece, thank you for sharing! I loved it especially because of syncronicity, as today I also published a post which echoes the joys (or curse) of anti-conformity 🙂


    • It’s important that people are aware that they don’t all need to be the same… we’re not cutout paper dolls. From a young age I only wanted to be me and that was truly a hard choice to make and a difficult road to walk. In the end, because I stayed true to myself my regrets only surface when I allow other others to make decisions for me instead of informing me.

      Liked by 1 person

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