Spare me the details of your pain

I've written one crappy novel, and have two partially finished crappy novels. These are crappy because I've been writing with one hand tied behind my back.

I've been too concerned with what will fit a particular genre, or what might sell. I've been self-limiting in so many ways that I'm pretty worried about undertaking a freer approach to writing.

What will my mother think? Just how bad will it suck? How could such a book ever get representation, let alone a publisher?

I've been like a cook who's been avoiding every spice in the cupboard. The end results have been bland and uninteresting. In trying to please the widest possible audience, I've been turning out gooey crap.

Well, screw it. If I'm not honest with myself and write something that's real, with real emotion poured into it, it's always going to be worthless crap. So, if I'm going to write something that is never going to be seen anyway, wouldn't it be better to have fun doing it, and to make it to my own tastes?

From now on, I'm going to use the garlic and habeneros, and stop caring if anyone else likes it.


  1. I can't even imagine my mom reading some of the stuff I've written. Well, actually, I kind of can. That's why she's not going to get an advance copy;-)

    I applaud you for making this decision, and am very excited to read the final result. Kudos!

  2. Yep. New mantra: screw it.

    As a side note - my mom wasn't terribly pleased with a rape scene I wrote. That was an awkward conversation.

  3. Indeed. I decided long ago in my own writing that I just wasn't going to depict rape itself. I might allude to it, but I just didn't want to go down that path. I know there's considerable controversy of Heinlein's _Friday_ for that reason as well, but I made the decision before I had even heard of the book. (Yes, I was very late to the Heinlein party)

  4. This made me grin. Hooray! Sod the genre rules, sod the "writing commercially" - the wonderful Philip Pullman said "People don't know what they want to read until they read it, so write for yourself" - or something like that, unfortunately his new site doesn't have the quote. You know what I mean though!

  5. Emma: Exactly! That's a great quote, I'm going to remember that one.


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