Writing for Yourself


Yesterday when I sat down to write my weekly blog, I had a bit of a bee in my bonnet. I wrote a lengthy article on differences in world perspective and how people view those with differing world perspectives as enemies. I walked away from this blog for a while before posting it as I wanted to make some edits and thought it best that I reflect on it a bit before attempting to edit it. 

When I went back to re-read it, I thought to myself, what’s the point of this blog? Will it help anyone besides me and my apparent need to rant about the subject? I realized that it did not. While it felt really good to write it all out and vent my frustrations, it would have been just another argument on the internet that wouldn’t have changed anyone’s mind. So I have tucked it away for some unknown rainy day when I might revisit the topic. 

Instead, I want to visit the topic of being true to yourself in your writing. Growing up in a conservative family, I often found that what I wanted to watch, listen to, write, or even talk about was unacceptable. I quickly learned that while taking my ninja turtle action figure and my Christian rap CD to one of my grandparent’s houses was acceptable, taking it to the other was not. I could tell a joke at one grandparent’s house and get a chuckle, while at the other grandparent’s house I would get a stern lecture. 

This is part of the reason that I choose to write under a pen name. I wanted to give myself the freedom to write what I wanted to write without feeling the pressure to adhere to my strict family’s code of honor, so to speak. However, with self publishing and the need to market myself on my own, I haven’t tried too hard to keep the secret hidden from my extended family. This has limited me somewhat, and has definitely altered my release schedule, but I am well aware that most of my extended family won’t read what I write, even if they learn about my pen name. 

It’s not just a fear of judgment, but a fear of offending them. I don’t to offend anyone. Period. Not just my family. But anyone. I have always been a people pleaser. But with so many people in the world, and with all of them having a different honor code of their own, it’s impossible to live by all their rules. 

Some people just don’t care. They write what they want to write and either people accept them or they don’t. Some people try to live by everyone else’s rules and pretend that those are the rules they want to write by as well. I have not figured out a way to find a middle ground yet, but I know that I don’t have too many rules of my own. Instead I have reasoning. 

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my grammar teacher said that if you wanted to break a grammar rule, you had to have a very good creative reason in order to acceptably break that rule in her classroom. I’ve adapted that to my writing style. 

I cannot say that “as a rule,” there is no swearing in my writing. To date there has not been – at least in what I’ve published. That’s because there hasn’t been a reason to. Having been in the world environment, and at public universities, I have known people who swear every other word. That is a character type. If I ever have one of those character types in my work, there will be swearing. 

I stay away from sex scenes because I would be uncomfortable writing them. I would much rather elude to what may or may not have happened and let the reader fill in the details themselves. I like to give readers room to read between the lines instead of spelling out every instant for them. 

I am not a fan of super gruesome violence and therefore tend not to let it creep into my stories. Our society seems to have this belief that scary = gore. I just don’t subscribe to that. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t ever be bloodshed in my work. 

While I think that I spend too much trying to defend myself from arguments that have not yet been raised, this is the type of rambling that goes through my head every day. And that’s what I’m here to share. In the end, I write what I feel led to write. Some people won’t like it. Some people will – maybe. Who knows? Maybe I am really terrible. But I write for myself. It makes me happy. So I will continue to do so and I will figure out the rest as I move along.