Understanding What Kind Of Writer You Are & Learning To Accept It

October 27, 2015

A lot of self-discovery has happened through the course of writing The Church In The Wildwood. I approached it thinking I was going to write the kind of book I usually read. If you go to my NaNoWriMo page you'll still see it categorized where I originally envisioned it sitting: thriller/suspense.

It is not a thriller, nor is it particularly suspenseful. There is some mystery but nothing like I thought it would hold.

And that's okay.

The story that came out is the story I was meant to tell.

But there were two surprises...

1. Heavy religious undertones. I don't want to be classified as a Christian author. An author who writes Christian fiction is much different than a Christian who writes fiction. Do you understand what I'm trying to say? I have many feelings about Christian fiction and few of them are good. I DO NOT want to be on the Christian Fiction shelf. I do not want to be put in a box that makes me squirrelly. I do not want to be held accountable to a gospel message. I want to tell a story without the restraint of Biblical shackles. 

Let me be clear: I have a solid faith in which I'm firmly planted. I am proud of my beliefs and I stand by and for them and yes, they inform my writing because they are part of who I am BUT they will not define my writing.

However, there are parts of my book in which, when reading it, I sat back and thought, 'Holy moly -  I'm preaching!'

Except I wasn't. My character was. 

And then I remembered the way Samuel L Jackson quoted Ezekiel in Pulp Fiction and I suddenly felt okay about it all.

(And - oh my goodness - I don't why I was so surprised...
I mean, my novel is titled The CHURCH In The Wildwood.)

2. Romance. Yuck! Ew! Gross!* No! DO NOT want to be a romance writer but, for whatever reason, these tender, beautiful...yes, even sexy...moments came out of me in the course of writing AND I JUST COULDN'T FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS GOING ON!!?!!

I do not read romance. It makes me roll my eyes. Plus - those covers - UGH! Since when does a topless man define a woman's ticket to happiness? 

If I ever publish a book with a topless man on the cover you have my permission to hold a burning party. I'll even come if you invite me! I'll light the first match! {And then I'll cry but that's about me - not you.}

I bemoaned my fear on social media and my baby sister talked me off the ledge with a text message that saved my life - "You're not a romance writer, you're a romantic writer."

And I can live with that.

Maybe I'll never write the psychological thriller I wish I had in me - or the exciting apocalyptic zombie/vampire saga that would punch Amazon's numbers through the ceiling - but I will write the stories I do have in me and I'll do it proudly, without apology, with the voice I've been given.

And without a topless man.

I promise.

*To all writer's of romance - I mean no offense. Good for you if you're writing what makes you happy. {And what obviously makes millions of women around the world happy too.} You're doing it! Write on! Writing and reading tastes are subjective. Everyone likes different things. Just because it's not my cup of tea doesn't mean it's unworthy. You're amazing and brave and deep down I really admire you - we could just never have lunch together...I'd be blushing...imagining that scene you just wrote...about the topless man... 

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.