Thursday, January 13, 2011

You write WHAT?!?

First, a few announcements (and if you've read something similar on my other blog, skip down below the numbered points and proceed merrily to today's post!)

1) School. Wow. So I thought since I'd been several *cough* times before, this would be a cake walk. WRONG. This cramming a semester into 8 weeks is great for finishing quicker but murder when you've got a job, two blogs to manage and countless other obligations. For now, my posting here will be Tuesdays and Thursdays.

2) In light of the above, I have been a terrible, horrible blog reader. Forgive me, do. I love reading each and every one of your blogs and will make it by as I can. Promise!

3) Daleks stole my blog design! Or I'm just having a terrible time trying to get this one tweaked to my liking. Please pardon the construction.

We now return to your regularly (ahem) scheduled post.

"So, you're a writer. What do you write?"

What an easy question.

"I write fiction."
"Chick lit"
"Dystopian YA steampunk dark-fantasy set in an alternate London somewhere in the late 1800s"


How many times have we been faced with an interested individual who eagerly awaits our response to that question? How many times do we falter? Why?

As soon as people find out I write, they immediately ask, "Oh, what do you write?"
I immediately hesitate. Not because I'm ashamed of what I write. It's more of a pause to gather myself together to receive their response.

"I write mostly dark fantasy and horror, predominately for the YA crowd but some adult literature as well."

Insert nods, tight smiles and...walk away.

I don't write what's popular. I don't write what's expected. I'm 5'5", sorta skinny, pale and blond. People always (ALWAYS) assume because I'm quiet and small that I'm meek, mild mannered and girly.

I'm not.

Funny how people judge your writing by your appearance. People judge us everywhere we go by our appearance. Why should I be surprised that they judge my genre by it as well?

There's nothing wrong with being meek, mild and girly. There's also nothing wrong with writing what's expected. If you look like a romance writer and you write romance then by golly write the best darned romance you can! I don't read romance normally but when yours gets published, I'll read it because it's you. Seriously. Not lying.

Why? Because I support other writers the same way musicians support other musicians. You may play grunge, industrial, electronic punk and you run across a chick who plays cello in a pop orchestra. You may not like orchestral music and she may not like punk, but as musicians, you respect the work. You respect the artist (at least, I hope you do *glare...grrrr*)

As writers, we respect the art and craft of others. We many not like it, we may cringe at the sight of it. But if you're serious about your work, if you're hell-bent on getting it right, getting it written, I respect you and your effort. And I'll dance in the streets with you when you're rewarded for your blood, sweat and tears.

I guess that's why, deep down, I want those who ask about my work to respect it too. No matter what my answer. But they won't. They can't.

And that's OK.

That's why we have each other. That's why we write these little drabbles we call blogs, it's why we meet for coffee to morn another rejection and why we invite everyone over for cake and tea when we get a request for a partial. It's why we send out newsletters and forward links to contests and agents.

I don't care what you write. I care THAT you write.

So keep writing! And give me reason to dance and serve cake! Otherwise, I just look silly ;)

(If this post seems a bit disjointed, it's probably due to sleep deprivation and caffeine. Or Reavers ate my brain.)


  1. Beautiful post! I think people (unwriterly people) don't really understand what it means when I say "I write mainly paranormal YA." But I'm lucky in that most of them are supportive anyway. But YES, that's not the same as the real support I get from all my fellow writers. Those of you who really "get it."

  2. Thanks, Lisa!

    The people who matter most to me do support me (even if they don't get it) but boy oh boy do I get hit with the odd stares by others. Oh well! At least I can live up to my weird reputation ;)

  3. I would think you're used to odd stares by now. ;p But really, it is interesting the things that people assume of you just by the way you look.
    Oh, and I think fixed it to where you can respond to me by e-mail now. :)

  4. I completely agree with this post. What a person writes isn't as important as the fact that they write.

  5. Love this post, Jen. I'm so grateful for people like you. Thanks for brightening my day.

  6. Hey Roxy!

    Thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad this post could brighten you day :D


  7. Oh how wonderful! Well said! I do that awkward pause thing too if anyone ever asks. It's more of an "eep they're looking at me" moment. I'm bashful about it I guess. That and I tend to write on the dark YA side too!(mental not to pester you about details on what you write now that I know we are sort of similar)

  8. Aw, such a happy, inspirational post! I'm so glad I've found the blogging community so that I meet people who really understand this whole strange writing business :)


Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.