Here is the context for my question:
I've been sort of genre-confused as a writer, both in terms of knowing what kind of books I want to write and where my abilities would fit best. I feel like I was born to write, but I often feel like a misfit among writers who seem to know themselves better and know what kind of books they write. I have a lot of different ideas across a lot of different genres, which seems like it should be a positive thing, but I end up just waffling and feeling indecisive. I get overwhelmed by the options.
I've written 4 novel manuscripts over a period of several years (2 young adult, 1 historical, 1 mystery). None of them are publishable in their current form, but I've learned a lot from the process and have received a fair amount of positive feedback from writing instructors. I feel like if I could just give myself some focus and direction -- pick a world and live in it for awhile -- just maybe I would have a chance at succeeding at this. Maybe feeling like I don't "fit in" is just insecurity, or maybe I just haven't found my niche yet.
As part of my quest to figure out what kind of writer I want to be, I began exploring the sci-fi genre a few months ago. I wanted to give it the chance I never gave it because I always saw it as a guy's genre. I sought the input of friends and family who were sci-fi fans and came up with a reading list of about 25-30 books. I've only read a few so far, but I'm really enjoying Ender's Game right now.
What intrigues me about the genre is the imaginative possibilities. You still have to create a "believable" story, but you get to reinvent the world in the process. It's a refreshing idea for me. I've made a living for the past 10 years as a copywriter, journalist, and blogger. I am grateful that I've been able to do that, but at the same time my work feels like "thought prison" much of the time. My creative abilities are continually tied up in other people's goals and bottom lines. So I think that's part of why I'm gravitating toward writing something that will set my imagination free.
Sorry for probably excessive amount of context. Obviously, I realize that no one can solve my genre confusion but me, but I'm interested in knowing why others write sci-fi and what draws them to the genre.