It’s been so long since I’ve written a post for this blog, I forgot how to find the Add New Post page. That’s just sad.
Well, I’ve been taking a break. It’s been good. I took some time to work on being a better mom, a better housekeeper, even a bit of a writer (!), and just generally hide out and be antisocial since being too social tends to make me stressed out and ranty.
Of course, since the thing that’s on my mind today is still a bit ranty, maybe I’m still not fit for company. But I’m pretty sure this is not just me, so if you feel ranty about it, you can say–yeah, what’s that about? in the comments and we’ll have ourselves a nice little bitch session and get over it.
For those of you who write (or, insert that thing that you do and apply accordingly), do people want you to do something else? There are people my life who are generally supportive, but also ask me questions like:
- Are all books for young people so…dark?
- Do they have to be so violent?
- Why do you make bad things happen?
- Can’t you write another series about happy characters who don’t swear?
- Children’s books! You could write wonderful children’s books!
That may be. But I’ve no desire to write children’s books right now. And I don’t know how to write shining happy people holding hands.
Ugh, and you know the swearing thing is still making me insane with people commenting that I’ve added a lot of unnecessary bad language and that since they’ve never known anyone to swear so much, this culture must not exist.
I’m not a super-talented writer. The bulk of what I have is…I don’t know, like a way of seeing the world and a desire to present that, try to make sense of it, try to show that good things can come out of it, or at least that the bad things that I see can be lived through. To me, what I do is tremendously positive. I don’t understand why people in my life don’t see it that way and ask me for sweetness and light.
I don’t really relate well to sweetness and light. Maybe if I’d grown up in Stars Hollow or Mitford. But I didn’t. The news I got over Christmas? Where I went to school they’ve moved on to the teachers stabbing each other in the hallways now.
(I know that part of the issue people have with my books is that they consider my audience children. I do not. In my mind, being a teen is incredibly complicated, full of scary shit, shifting support systems, and overwhelmed with a desire to be treated more like an adult. Teens are not adults, but they’re not children. And damn me if it makes any sense to shelter them in fiction from the things life’s already throwing at them.)
I sometimes like spending time with the people of Stars Hollow and Mitford, with the March sisters or the cast of Friends. But there are people who are good at creating those worlds. It’s covered. It’s not like, by choosing something else, I am somehow causing a shortage of light romantic comedic fiction.
I don’t know, I guess I take it personally. Because objectively I should be able to understand the desire of those in my real life to be able to be proud of my books as well as of me, to be able to pass them around and show them off without having to warn to the decent folk about the content. Maybe it’s hard to find the balance between being proud of what I’ve accomplished and being kind of embarrassed by my degenerate brain and there’s some concern about people wondering how I got like this. The whole writing thing–it is really personal. There’s an awful lot of me on every page. That degenerate nature is me. Asking me to put something else on those pages is asking me to be someone else. I mean, you get that, right?
I don’t know how you erotica writers do it. More power to ya.
So, seriously, how do you do it? How do you answer the helpful suggestions of family members who want you to clean up your books or change genre? Does it get to you like it gets to me?