Saturday, July 25, 2015

Reflecting/Rewording

Okay, yesterday's post was terrible. It makes me sound so whinny--and to be fair...I am.

(I also added a link to a blog post Danielle Jensen made where she talked about Hidden Huntress. The video there is unlisted, so I'm not going to embed it. But this is the link to the author's blog post if you missed it).

This is why I should schedule things out rather than hit "publish" when my head is going haywire.

I know there are readers out there. I know there are readers out there who aren't writers. I know even if the industry just ends up being other writers supporting other writers, it'll still be a great thing, like one massive community of contributors and consumers and people just building off of one another.

I know this is really premature worrying. I don't even have a draft solid enough for beta readers and I'm already freaking out at the prospect of all books disappearing. Slow down, Becca. The horse hasn't even left the stable.

I know my mother not liking the particular style and set up of one book doesn't mean she won't like mine. Or that she's not going to pick up reading again. And I guess I mildly implied, "damnnn if she doesn't like that crap she'll never like my crap!" (Stormdancer deserves better. Sorry book, I love you, you were just kind of the in-the-moment example. Plus, I also know there are plenty of people who hated the writing in that book. And I know there are plenty of people who hate known literary classics so it's not like you can judge anyone's taste and do a cross reference analysis of what they might or might not like. Tis a complicated thing). Oh and that thing about my dad not finishing a book in a while is just an outright lie. He finished The Giver a few weeks ago. I'm not sure why he talked as if he hadn't picked up and completed a book in ages when clearly he has. And I'm not sure why I didn't remember him taking The Giver with him to work to read during his lunch hour.

I also didn't mention audiobooks yesterday, and even though places like Reddit are pretty notorious for proclamations of not reading or whatever, there always seems to be a follow-up comment that suggests audiobooks to get into books. I think some readers who can speed through 300 pages in one sitting don't particularly like them because they're used to the speed, but I think audiobooks, if given more attention, could help a lot. I see a lot of advertisements for Audible--though I admit I won't get it because I'm of the opinion one audiobook a month isn't enough--and it's a perfectly valid way to engage with literature.

I still stand by the fact that I'm not worried about money. Or I am, to an extent, and I'll expand on that in just a bit, but the real thing I'm worried about is not having readers. Modern readers, I guess, more so* than some kid fifty years after my death discovering my writing--which is fine, it's just...you know, I'll be dead. I won't know if anyone read anything by that point.

But all those snide comments from my upbringing are getting to me.

Here's the thing: there's a big difference between, "have some realistic expectations, hope for the best, prepare for the worst," and "ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE."

Like did I and every other young writer in the world need it drilled into their head that we're gonna be failures and we're gonna struggle and holy shit better look forward to a life of, "paper or plastic?" Not just from professors, but snotty fucking kids who so happened to be my classmates? It's one thing to utilize self-deprecating humor as a defense mechanism. It's another to joke, "yeah, I'm probably gonna be homeless and crashing on couches for my entire adulthood," in the morning, then imagining it as a realistic possibility at nightfall.

University didn't help. Especially that last semester. All those stupid remarks at genre fiction, all those idiotic attempts to try and paint literature as some untouchable thing that must only be understood and analyzed (not even consumed, cuz that might imply some form of pleasure out of the ordeal), hundreds of years after the writer's death is fucked up.

I get the educational system now a days gets a lot of flak for trying to accommodate everyone and hand out "Yayyy you participated!" medals left and right. But let me tell you, the opposite approach of adulthood will be hell, figure everything out on your own, fuck your passion and all your dreams and futures, is Not. Preferable. All it has done is suckered punched me into sleepless nights and crying jags. (Granted I'm really emotional already. BTW, my brother found me with my face buried in a journal, bawling my eyes out one day. I think it looked like somewhere between the walk from the living room to the desk, someone just outright died. Anyways, he tried to make me feel better, so that was nice of him.)


Now there's a perfectly timed video to illustrate my point. I saw it yesterday afternoon and had some flashbacks.

Anyways. I'm sorry. About panicking. And freaking out. About ranting and not being as self-assured or as confident as I should be. Like I said yesterday, I'm not going to stop writing. I just kind of wished I wasn't unemployed and in debt while still figuring my life out. But that's the way of America right now, you know? It could be worse. At least, despite some misgivings, my immediate family and friends are supportive.
~Becky

*Is...this...one word or two? I'm getting conflicting answers.

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.