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Monday, June 18, 2012

Criticism, Scorn and Honesty

As a writer you grow over time as you increase your knowledge and skills concerning the craft of writing.  Once you’re published you put your work out there for the world to read and judge.
The judging comes in many forms and various areas.
I started writing with stories that I knew I would like to read that haven’t been written yet in spite of the continued advice from many to know your audience, or target market.  I have a problem with the concept of a target market because how can you qualify the myriad of people you may never meet who will read your work.  Plus the judging comes from those who read it and those who don’t.  I have had one instance already in my infinitesimal writing career where the book reviewer admittedly deleted the book on the second page yet went on to write a wonderfully horrible review of my work.  I have had others who claim to have read my work yet sited things that were not in the book that they hated, which lends one to wonder what they actually read.
My point of this post is that humans are as varied as the grains of sands on a beach and we all like and appreciate different things.  What one person finds beautiful and heart stirring another finds as an abomination to God, as if they were able to judge what a God might actually think or find offensive.  As this has dawned on me I realize the authors that really stuck a cord with me personally wrote about aspects of the human condition, good and bad.  They explored and danced around controversial issues of the past, current day or age old problems we may still be dealing with in a possible different future.
To grow as a writer I personally feel each of us will come to that place where we realize if we are to continue with the enterprise of writing that we have to quit worrying about offending other people.  Write the best we can write and put it out there and let the world decide what they are intelligent enough, open minded enough, honest enough to accept about the world we live in and the aspects (ALL OF THEM) that make up the human condition which we refer to as life.
I just personally stepped over that imaginary line in the sand.  Faced with a new series that I not only want to write, that begs to be written.  It screams to be explored, revealed, and brings the darkness out into the light.  It has the potential to be a multi-genre piece of work which could easily span several full length novels.  It will bring tons of criticism and scorn from many people.  It has the potential to put my up there with some of the greats whose books have been banned from entire countries.  Until I can be brave enough to write it and publish such stories regardless of what others may think it won’t be written and I won’t be able to grow as a writer.
I have played it safe since I started down this new path in 2010.  Before publishing my first two books I went to great lengths to censor myself and tone down my writing from the language I use to the scenes I portrayed in my books.  After an eye opening experience recently with a rather narrow minded person and thinking about the brave writers like Ray Bradbury who we so recently lost, I feel ashamed to have watered down my work and filter it in the name of making it more pleasing to the general public.  This blog was started to chronicle my discoveries as a writer, share tidbits of writing discoveries I have figured out as I progress down this path.  To not face this shift in spirit and honesty publically here in my blog would be remiss of me.
The gloves are off from here on out and I will write strictly from my heart and mind.  If the mass of the reading public doesn’t approve and my writing doesn’t become recognized as an accurate picture of the day in age through which we live and that I write during, then so be it.  If I don’t become considered a literary master in my lifetime and my books don’t gain the status of greatness until long after I am dead then so be it.  I will have joined a very distinguished group of authors at that point.  I don’t want to write watered down, lame ass crap to sell more books.  I truly want to write the books I would love to read that haven’t been written yet, and appeal to the more intelligent open minded people who read and will change the world over time.  If I never take a stand issues, don’t take risks with the situations and things my books deal with then I am not being true to myself as a person or a writer but most importantly I am short changing the reader.
People read an extremely wide range of books and what becomes popular in many cases ruffles a lot of feathers and pisses people off.  I am stepping up from an aspiring writer with great ideas to the field of an experienced author who doesn’t give a shit what might make you blush, offend your virgin ears, or challenge your beliefs.  As a true writer I should wallow in the depths of the human condition and all its muck and filth and show how the human spirit and will to survive will triumph over all.  I should inspire people to be more than they dream they are capable of.  I should make churches, governments and those who wish to control the masses terrified of us free thinkers who will steal and hide to read to let our minds be free.  To provide hope for the hearts of people who have never tasted freedom, who have lived through or are currently enduring persecution and those who will silently watch our freedoms be taken away and destroyed for the sake of change and progress.
Amen, Lecture over.  Writers get back to work; we have hearts and minds to perverse with radical ideas.
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