Writer Struggles: Part One

One of the things I struggle with as a writer is friends and family reading my work. If it’s fiction, they really don’t spend a lot of time reading personal things into it, but when it’s on a platform like this? UGH!

I cannot tell you how many times I have received e-mails, text messages, or phone calls that goes something like this: A- “Is this about me?”, with an attached link to something I’ve written. (It might be, but unless I’ve named names, you might not want to assume so much self-importance. Did you really print it so you could read it back to me?! Seriously?!!?) B- “Are you angry with me?” (Do I seem like the shy type?) C- “I don’t understand why you would write this…” (That’s why I’m a writer and you aren’t.) The best part is when they write to “advise me” on a situation I have written about that really doesn’t require a response. Unless I specifically ask for advice, chances are, I’m doing just fine with the thoughts in my head and don’t need mixed messages, but thanks for thinking of me. It is frustrating, to say the least.

I think the most profound thing anyone can say to me, which happened this past weekend, is “I am so proud of you.” For someone to acknowledge how I have grown in my talent and how I am not hesitant to tackle difficult subjects that make other people uncomfortable is something I value and respect. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is sincerely appreciated. (Hugs Aunt L.)

I generalize a lot of what I write because too many people assume it’s about them, when the truth is, it could be about anyone in the world. Most of the time someone will stumble upon something I have written, leave a comment about their own experiences on the subject, I will respond in kind, and dialogue is born. It’s one of the reasons you write; To have other people read your work, understand it, relate to it, remember it, share it, etc. It’s not meant for me to throw random shit at anyone, it’s meant to be thought-provoking, and often times it is therapeutic, as the writer, for me to write things out of my system. If I didn’t, I’d have murdered someone by now. So thank you Mom, for realizing I was a writer and encouraging me to be what I am today. It is far better than what I ever imagined it could be. I wish you were here for all of this, because I think now, I understand what your vision for me really was.

For most of my years as a writer, I covered facts, life, death, grief, women’s issues, and sports. That’s what makes up the majority of my portfolio. I can revert back to any of those things on a dime, and tackle a subject quite competently. I do go out of my comfort zone at times to really challenge myself, but I also know what I’m good at. There is a way, no matter what genre you write in, to still adhere to your values and be yourself.

I would rather be myself and not make any apologies for it, than be spoon-feeding my readers bullshit on gilt plates. But hey, that’s me, and I refuse to apologize for doing something that is not wrong.

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED