I'm sitting here waiting for my mom. We're going to drive to Brigham City so we can eat lunch at Maddox. That's how much she and I care about these things. We'll get in a car and drive far distances to eat fried chicken, whereas I really cannot be bothered to go to a life-saving doctor's appointment if it's south of 21st South here in Salt Lake. There's something kinda sick about this, I think.
Anyway, I'm also thinking about a conversation I had last night with the luminous Carol Williams. Carol made the observation that most people who've been successful in the world of kid lit have tended to focus on a genre rather than being all over the place. There are notable exceptions, of course. But even people like Cynthia Rylant have focused on one genre at a time during their careers, even if they write everything from picture books to YA.
This has made me wonder about my own career. I've tried a lot of different things--sometimes successfully, sometimes not. I don't regret it, and really part of the reason I've tried different things is that I couldn't sell a YA novel for awhile, even though that was my first love.
I have to say I think Carol's right, though. Most people with splendid careers seem to have an identifiable focus. Am I right about this? Are there obvious exceptions I'm forgetting? Your thoughts, please.