I was musing aloud (OK, moaning) to my wife about writing within a particular genre. "What if I don't want to write a science fiction novel, or a fantasy novel? I feel as though I've outgrown a lot of the genre stuff. Shouldn't I try to write something more literary? Try to strip out the SciFi or fantasy elements, and make the plots work without the clones, the zombies and the magic talking books? Aren't they just crutches or shortcuts to achieve something that a better writer would do with real people doing real things in the real world?"
"I think you should just write the story, and take it where it wants to go. You certainly shouldn't force in some extra laser blasters or evil wizards to make it fit a particular genre, but if the story feels like it needs clones and zombies, then it would be lacking something without them."
"Wow... that's really good advice."
"Thanks. Now stop worrying so much about how to categorize the story and just focus on telling a good story."
All that wisdom and a really awesome apple pie recipe. I'm a lucky guy.