What do I even want to write?

For most of my life, I thought that the genres I wanted to write in were science fiction and fantasy – primarily science fiction. As I got older, genre conventions and limitations became something I cared less and less about, and I shifted to saying that I wanted to write speculative fiction. Speculative fiction covers science fiction and fantasy as well as a few other genres, so essentially anything I wrote could fall under it.

About three weeks ago, I had a thought. What if what I want to write can’t really be considered science fiction? I honestly thought I was fine writing speculative fiction and not science fiction. Despite my best efforts, this thought took hold in my brain and has not let go.

I know these labels are a marketing tool. I know they don’t actually matter while I’m writing. But I can’t stop thinking that maybe what I thought I wanted to do isn’t what I actually want to do.

Then, a week ago, I had some more thoughts that furthered this problem: what if I don’t really want to write speculative fiction, either? What if I actually want to write weird fiction or literary fiction? Is that why I’ve been able to finish so few of my stories? Is it why I lose interest so quickly?

I seem to be going through the writer version of a mid-life crisis.

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