Friday, May 9, 2014

Bless her heart, or Why I Didn't Take Mom's Writing Advice

I've always written. Way back when I was a wee lass of nine I was crafting Hey Dude fan fiction when I didn't even know what fan fiction was. Then around freshman year it turned into Interview with the Vampire fan fic. I mean, how can you not want to write about Lestat and poor, poor Louis?

It was around this time that my mom, bless her heart (I'm southern, I can say that un-ironically!), started realizing that writing wasn't just an emo-teenage phase I was going through. I covered my journals with collages and concurrently freaked my mother out. They looked a lot like this by the time I was done with them, though is is NOT one of mine.
I can't remember whether I voluntarily let my mom read some of my emo poems and short stories, or if she snuck into my room in the middle of the night while I was sleeping and read them with a flashlight. Either way, she got her hands on my words, and this is when she started giving me advice. Not lots of it, just one particular piece of advice over and over and over again.

Why don't you write know...

And, thus, the start of the eternal conversation between mother and daughter. With every poem, every story, I'd get the same comment. "It's nice, but don't you want to write something happy?"

I tried.

Really, I tried. But it all felt forced, contrived, done before. You know? Happy isn't what I'm supposed to write. Or, not happy in the sense that she wants it.

That's the thing with writing advice. Lots of people like to give it. Unfortunately you're the only one who will know if it works for you or not. Listen to advice. Listen to critique partners. But in the end, it's my story, or your story, or the author's story. We all have to be true to ourselves and our characters, no matter if it means not listening to our moms.

I love my mother to the moon and back, but that little piece of advice, I'm gonna ignore. I'll send her to Pharrell if she needs a dose of happy!

Happy Mothers Day, Bear! I hope you're okay with me not taking your advice just this once.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Yeah, that's a tough one, because of course now that we're moms we can understand the concern of course.