Getting Back on the Horse

I’m pushing on with “I Knew Him.” Managed 800 words yesterday and today I’ve been reading it through and typing out a timeline of the book. The eye problems stalled it, but I think the recent discussions stalled it just as much—and I, as you know—will use any excuse for procrastination. I won’t say that the recent kerfuffle about women writing gay fiction didn’t dent my confidence, because it did, and that’s not me going into “victim” mode. I defy anyone who had their private parts, motivation,weight and character examined, discussed and eviscerated by people who doesnt know them from a bar of soap not to have a bit of the shine knocked off them. But I’m not letting it get me down!! All any of us can do is to continue doing what we’ve been doing, and doing it to the best of our ability. 

My mother was the one who taught me to “get back on the horse” and that’s something I’ve always done. Except once, when my horse had thrown me six times in a row and eventually my body refused to get up. I had to get back on the horse after a week in hospital, and that was a lot harder than getting straight back on, believe you me.

What I’m saying is that every one of us will be criticised at some point. (not only writers!) But as writers we’ll be lambasted for not writing the right stuff: Torn to shreds for writing vampires novels when they are so last Tuesday (despite the fact you’ve been writing them for 20 years). Write romance and you’ll be pandering to some mythical trailer trash, write murder mystery and you’ll never be able to measure up. Write sci fi and you’ll be sneered at if your science isn’t real. You’ll be the wrong colour, the wrong nationality, the wrong gender. If you are female you’ll be accused of disloyalty if you don’t write about females, and if you are male you’ll be attacked that you don’t know what it’s like to have a vagina.You’ll be accused of ignoring issues if you don’t write about them, and you’ll be accused of condoning things like slavery if you dare to write about it. You’ll be too serious, too flippant, too violent, too casual, too ambitious, too low-brow. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter what you do, someone’s going to find fault with it—and if you win the Booker, no-one will read you anyway!  LOL. (only kidding)

But despite there being these detractors, you’ll get letters from readers, and that is what will make you ignore all of the above and will make you pick yourself up and get back on that horse. I had the most amazing unsolicited letter last night from a man who had written to me before saying how he’d enjoyed my books. He’d read the whole debate, starting with the OUT article (which he found “heart-warming” bless him) and going through all the other places. What he said gave me that little push to know that being back on the horse is exactly where I want to be.

© Copyright 2010 Erastes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Erastes
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