Hi, my name is Sabrina, and I have a problem. You see, I have a bad habit of clicking on links that I'm well aware that will make me angry. Like the following!
Against YA: Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.
So never mind the title's inherent contradictory nature (read whatever, unless it's something I as the writer deem to be inappropriate!). I mean, I've read dozens of articles about how children's literature is supposedly inferior. And I know how wrong it is, even without reading all the multiple well thought-out rebukes to the specific linked article above.
No, aside from that, I want to talk about something else. I want to talk about shame in regards to what we love.
It's not the first time I've talked about shame or guilt in regards to loving genre fiction. In any case, I should be long accustomed to strangers telling me that what I like isn't good enough, that what makes me happy is somehow inferior or inadequate. But it's difficult to ditch habits, and to stop worrying about what other people think.
But I'm working on it. Because really, shame is a terrible reason not to enjoy something that you love. Think about it: once you decide to classify something you love as inadequate or shameful, it doesn't decrease your love for that thing. Instead, you're often left with two states of mind: guilty enjoyment, or full-on guilt. And as I've said before, what use is it to let others determine what makes you happy? Happiness is such a rare, precious thing. So don't be afraid to do whatever it is that makes you happy, even if every other person you know tells you that the thing is somehow inferior. Because you're not doing it for them. You're doing it to make you happy.
Not anyone else.
And never let anyone make you feel bad about it.