Why YOU Shouldn't Write YA
I love YA.
Not because I'm a teen or because I write the genre but because there are some AMAZING Young Adult novels out there. Some are already published, some are soon-to-be published, and others are trying to find their way into the spotlight. It doesn't matter what the subgenre is, as long as the main character is smart and learns from their mistakes then chances are I'll like the book.
But there are some writers who only write YA because they feel that it's easy. I'm a teen, and just because I'm closer to the age of my characters, it doesn't make writing a book ANY easier. Just as I'm sure an adult writing adult fiction would say that their age doesn't make writing their book easier.
Writing a book is hard.
So if you're thinking that novel writing is going to be a piece of cake just because you're writing a book that features a teen protagonist, then please stop writing your book.
If you're not even going to do your research on how a REAL teen acts and behaves and you just base your story off of how YOU think a real teen acts and behaves, then please stop writing your book.
If you feel the need to dumb down your teen protagonists just because you believe their age makes them naive, then please stop writing your book.
YA means a lot to a lot of people. It has helped me get through the worst four years of my life (a.k.a high school) and I'm sure it helped many other teens, too.
And people (not all, but some) underestimate how amazing my generation is. Seriously, though.* I went to school with a girl who spent her entire senior year doing stem cell research at a local university. I also know a lot of teens who do community service and try to help out their environment (not because they were told to do it, either), which is more than you can say for other people. As someone who was a mentor for a human rights and racial justice group, I can honestly say that teens are awesome. We are more than our age, and people need to start seeing that.
So don't write YA if you can't see that.
Also, don't waste your time if you think writing YA is easy, because it's not, and if it is, then maybe you're not doing it right.
* Have you guys heard about the girls who called out both Teen Vogue and Seventeen on their usage of airbrushing on their cover models? I don't know about you guys, but I think that's pretty amazing.