Why I Write YA

Confession time: I am an adult.  I pay taxes.  I have a mortgage.  I vote.  I even have kids.  And there’s nothing wrong with being a grown-up.  I get to eat ice cream for dinner.  I painted every room in my house a different color just because I felt like it.  I have no curfew (which is not nearly as exciting as it sounds – I’m still in my pajamas by 7).

But in some ways, I completely fail as a grown-up.  I take Flintstone vitamins.  I consider ketchup a vegetable.  I subsist mostly on caffeine and carbohydrates.  I haven’t made my bed in a solid 5 years.

I don’t want to settle down.

I know what you’re thinking: Wait a minute. Didn’t you just say you have a mortgage and kids and an embarrassing lack of a social life?

Well, yes. Thanks for pointing that out.  But let me explain.

There’s a fundamental shift after the teenage years.  Like, in high school, you can still be anything.  You can be anyone.  You can be a doctor or a teacher or a lawyer or a politician.  At 18, people still ask you what you want to be when you grow up.

And after, well, you’re supposed to have that figured out.  You settle into something.  You become someone.  Nobody asks me what I want to become anymore.  They ask me what I am.  Which is, by the way, nearly impossible to answer.  I’ve been known to deliver this monologue about how I used to be a Scientist and then I was a Teacher and then…..and then their eyes glaze over and I think, Way to be awkward, Megan!  They were just being polite.  Get a grip!


I guess I’m stuck in that phase – the becoming.  I like to think I can still be anything, no matter how old I get.  (Except for the whole football player dream.  My dad made sure to shatter that one when I was eight.  But that’s a story for another time.)

I think that’s why I love writing about teenagers.  I get to re-live that becoming every time I write.  And somewhere along the way, I became a writer.

Who knows, maybe I am settling down.

Oh crap, maybe I’m becoming an adult.