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Friday, July 8, 2011

Surprises

As I've given myself permission to slip into reading again, I've been discovering things about myself I didn't realize.

Such as...

While reading Anne Tyler books, I become aware of my fears that people might not understand my intentions when reading my work. (Who cares? If my book doesn't make sense to them, they won't read it, right?) I don't actually have to worry so much about their understanding. I've been limiting myself to what I think others would comprehend, and that's just beside the point.

I started Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead yesterday. I'm halfway through the book, and it turns out it's kinda dirty. Why that surprises me, I don't know - it's about succubus, after all. Suddenly I am realizing I am not the open, real, unedited writer I think I am. It's no secret I am a sexual person (as are most people)  - I had three kids by the age of 25 - but I have never written a single thing that would suggest such things. I'm too afraid of what people will think. After all, if I become a published author, won't my mother read my books? I never took myself as the kind of person who would blush at that idea, but I get all nervous just thinking about it. Of course I could never open up and let loose with my writing, because people I know might read it! When did I   become someone who worried about the judgment of others?

And aren't they just people, too, after all? My mom, my dad, my brothers and sisters... aren't they people who enjoy reading about human experience as much as I do? Honestly, who's to say they would even have time to read my novels anyway? Is it just arrogant for me to believe people would be reading it at all? As my dad pointed out the other day, it takes a certain amount of arrogance to be a writer, so I must have some vanity going on under it all.

That's not to say I want to write dirty, sexy novels. All I'm saying is that I limit myself in a lot of areas (that being only one of them) because of what people - mostly just the people I know well - will think of it, or how they might (mis)understand it. Just thoughts, but they are kind of stirring up uncomfortable emotions in me. Not being the open, uncensored person I believe myself to be is kind of unsettling.

Oh, well... I've still got half a book to read. :)

1 comment:

  1. I think I also said that it takes a certain kind of arrogance to be a writer. You must have the belief that what you have to say will be of value to someone else and that they will appreciate what your writing does to their thought processes.

    Of course, what your writing does to another person's thoughts is not always considered by them to be a positive thing. Many of the greatest books were intended to shock people into reconsidering how they view the world . . . and then spur them to change their lives, or take actions that would cause others to change their lives.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beacher Stowe and many of the writers who described the Holocaust come to mind.

    Dad

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