Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Embrace Your Freakitude

Outside of porn writing's got to be one of the most awkward occupations to have to tell your family about.

Think about it. You write an emotionally charged, beautifully told love story of the forbidden romance between height challenged, same-sex circus performers. You know what mom and dad are gonna remember?

Gay midget.

"It's okay, honey," they'll say. "We love you, anyway." And then they introduce you to Raoul, a little person from Brazil they "met" on the internet.

Doesn't matter that you're writing some of the most beautiful prose out there, somebody's going to jump to conclusions about you, your book, your inspirations. Cousins you haven't seen in twenty years are going to think it's all about them. Ex-girlfriends are going to give knowing nods and say they always knew that about you.

Write horror? You're a baby eater. Killed a woman in your novel? Misogynist. Asian guy? Racist. Wrote some bondage erotica? Get ready to fend off the crazies with the ballgags.

Every writer worries about this shit. We put something down and think, "Oh no, I can't write that. What will they think of me?"

And then we change it. We water it down. We don't go there, wherever there happens to be. Doesn't need to be lurid. Maybe it's just an unpleasant truth. And any truth is unpleasant to somebody.

You can't win. So stop trying.

You ARE a freak. Own it. You're putting word to those fucked up thoughts bubbling in the back of your head. You're challenging people's preconceptions. You're stamping your name all over them.

That's a good thing. Nobody changed the world by saying the same milquetoast bullshit everybody else is saying.

Be daring. Be rude. Be visceral and raw. Fuck what other people think. If they don't judge you for your writing they'll judge you for something else.

So stop worrying about it, sit your ass down and just do it.


Lysdexic Writer said...

My mother has been asking "Dear when did your obsession with Strippers begin? Was it when you father left us for a stripper?"

Most common question "How much of Moses is you?" what they really want to ask is "Did you fuck strippers."

I agree fuck 'em. I write what I want and let the chips fall where they may

-Josh Stallings

Elizabeth Poole said...

I love Frank Norris's quote on this: “I never truckled; I never took off the hat to Fashion and held it out for pennies. By God, I told them the truth.”

I used to have a harder time not pulling punches, but then I realized that no matter what I wrote about, I offended someone. The main character's attitude. The fact that she was a cat person and not a dog person. You could write "The cat ate tuna." and someone out there will get morally offended. Outraged even.

So yeah. Now I just write what the truth of the story is and let the chips fall where they may. Because at the end of the day I can say I told the truth.

Great article!

inkgrrl said...

Yes dear ;-)

Pop Culture Nerd said...

When people make assumptions about me based on something they've heard/read, I just say, "Yup, it's all true. And that's only part of it."

I enjoy watching them slowly back away with terror in their eyes.

BISH said...

After ten published novels, hours of scripted televison and produced films, I still needed to hear this.


Don't let the trolls grind you down.