When I started writing seriously, I thought of myself as a short story writer and sometime poetess. I belonged to writing groups that mostly critiqued short stories and flash fictions, and I even got some of my work published. I was still teaching at the time, so many of my stories, for obvious reasons, took place in summer settings -- a lot of hot August afternoons and warm July mornings. Then I took a year's sabbatical to see if I really did want to retire early in order to write. Ah, it was wonderful to have a whole year in which to write! For one thing, at last a story could take place in, say, February or October.
I was still writing for adults, but two things had happened: The classroom doesn't disappear that easily. I really loved teaching, and my favorite grade was sixth grade. Those eleven-year-olds' perspectives had seeped into my psyche. Instead of the family saga novel I had envisioned, young protagonists dealing with tween problems swam to the surface, and those flash fictions had left me with a desire to try picture books.
I did take the early retirement after a year's return to the classroom. But my writing goals had changed. I wanted to write for children, and that's what I've been doing ever since.
Meanwhile, you really can't take the classroom out of a teacher's heart. I still teach an after school art class, and I love it. It enriches my life, and it enriches my writing. My students are ages 7 through 12, and they love to read as well as do art. They recommend good books for me to read, and they share what they like about them. What more could I ask for? (Well, um..., I would like an agent....)
What about you? Do you write in more than one genre? Have your writing interests shifted since you first began?