When I write my stories for adults, I don't really have any interest in writing anything that doesn't have some sort of genre twist, be it horror/paranormal/fantasy/science fiction/or whatnot. You get the idea. I don't like to read straight literary or contemporary work (there are exceptions, of course, but usually not), so therefore I don't like to write stories in non-genre categories. It just doesn't interest me.
I'm finding, however, that when I right for kids, I have no problem leaving out the fantastical element. Depending on the age group--usually the very young--normal everyday things can have the air of the fantastic. A simple story about hats can be a fun thing for me to write--which just so happens to be what I'm working on now. I've sent out two children stories to publishers so far, and one is a picture book/young reader about a brother and sister on a fun treasure hunt that their mother designed, and the other is a very short story about a child looking in a mirror. Neither have my normal genre twists, yet both were quite fun for me to write.
I'm finding that for older children, my genre preference is still shining through. I'm working on a middle grade novel that has plenty of paranormal activity and elements of the fantastic. It's a blast to write. It's much different from the genre stuff I can write for adults because I really have to censor my word usage/visual images. Don't want blood and guts to be flowing all over the place in a story for 10 year olds, while that would be fine in a book for adults. It's a nice new challenge for me.
So I guess the point of my post today is to try something new when you're writing. It'll free up your mind in ways that will create fun new challenges for you. Until next time, keep reading and/or writing.