Today’s post comes from my friend Jade Bennett over at Jade Bennett Writes. Who also, if you hadn’t heard, launched her IndieGoGo campaign today! She’s aiming to raise money to self-publish her first novel Mechanics of Magic, the first in a series titled Mechanical Maladies. Check her out, and if you support her cause, please donate or share her IndieGoGo page! Thanks, everyone!
Now, about Writing Life.
I’ve spoken on the topic of saying what you mean to say, how you mean to say it, multiple times, and this post isn’t going to change that tune. I’ve been asked by several people why I choose to portray controversial subjects in my writing, how I approach those topics, and how I deal with the “backlash.”
Truth? I’ve never really had any backlash. I own what I write, and if people don’t like it, they can go complain on the internet. (You know, like I do all the time. You guys know. =P) If something means a lot to you, and you want to put that down on paper, that’s your call. Gaining the courage to show the world is an entirely different matter.
Let’s face it: a stranger’s opinion is the difference between the cost of one book in our pocket and one less digit on our sales sheet, and that’s big. But not as big as how we feel about, say, our mother reading that gay romance novel we wrote, chock full of drug abuse, rape, and our main character’s struggle to get by in an anti-equality society. Or our father running across our heart-rending essays on teen suicide or our flash fiction about parental alcoholism.
It doesn’t matter. I swear to you, write what you’re passionate about. It may not be pretty and it may cause some controversy, but that’s okay. Our modern world was built on controversy. Voices rise and things change, but if we keep silent, we’re stagnant. Even if it’s in your fiction, in a small, indirect way, say what you mean. Even if it’s through your characters in a fictional realm on a fictional planet, address those things that call to your heart because only you can say them the way you intend them to be said.
Stand up. Your friends and families will judge you. Strangers will judge you. But at least you can say that you stood for something. So few people see what courage there is in writing fiction.
Be blunt. You don’t have to be crass, but be honest. If it’s not honesty from your perspective, be honest from an opposite perspective. Fiction always displays at least two sides, if not always evenly.
Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to write about the hard things in life. Your family may not approve, but you’ll be a voice for so many people who stand beside you. More than you might realize. Don’t let fear silence you. <3