I couldn't think of anything that would be relevant today, so I'll be back next week. Until then, make sure you check your facts. If you reference a website, check the author's credentials. just because somebody writes something doesn't make them an expert. Use the sources written by those who were there.
No. It’s not what you think. I haven’t bailed out of the non-partisan boat. I’m talking about the things we write without thinking about our readers.
Let me explain. I was writing in a restaurant early in the morning the other day. The music coming from the kitchen was from my era. I didn’t like the Black Sabbath, although I did back in 1972 when I bought the album. I enjoyed hearing Pink Floyd’s, Dark Side of the Moon again, though.
From somewhere behind me, A customer made a comment. She liked the Pink Floyd and went on to compare it, unfavorably to the Beatles. She criticized I Want to Hold Your Hand by singing part of it with a nasal tone.
I was shocked. Obviously to me, that person didn’t have a clue. In my mind, I argued that Paul Mccartney and John Lennon were some of the most talented writers ever. Elements of their music can be found in almost every Rock n Roll song ever written, the rest, were probably from the Rolling Stones. I went on to analyze I Want to Hold Your Hand by pointing out the necessary link it provided in the evolution of the medium.
The music turned to a Jimi Hendrix song, I also enjoyed hearing again, but the customer left and I didn’t get her opinion of him. Hendrix was extremely talented, but I suppose there are many who don’t like his music either. Bringing me to the point.
As a writer of fiction, I labor over my work, choosing words carefully to express my thoughts in the most succinct way possible. I hope readers will like what I’ve written. Most often, however, I don’t stop and think about who might disagree or be offended by what I’ve written.
Writing in the LDS market is limiting. My work will be held to something I call, the Deseret Book Standard. Simply put: If DB wouldn’t put it on their shelves then it won’t be successful in the market. Also, there are hundreds of words and touchy situations I can’t write. I'm constantly being corrected by my wise critique group.
Of course the market is changing, but writing nationally is easier. Nevertheless, I run the risk of offending someone. What happens if I write in both markets? Will my LDS fans shun me because I use a word? Must I write under a pseudonym? What about what I say on social media? Perhaps, politics shouldn’t be discussed, although some LDS writers think it’s their sacred duty to do so. Well, you get the point.
I’m talking about platforms and image. Promotion begins when you start writing and never quits. Be careful. Your snide remark might destroy years of public relations. Stand up for principles not people. Don’t be negative, and if you’re writing in the LDS market, don’t use swear words on Facebook.
Several years ago, I wrote a story that came to me in church. I had it drafted in my mind, beginning to end, before the meeting was over. The manuscript was never published, but most of the words live in my memory. It was my first finished book, and I intend to rewrite it someday.
Parts of that story came back and slapped me in the face, the other night. Not in a good, editorial way, but as I lived the plot. Many of us write from our experiences, but how many of us experience what we write?
What do you suppose would happen if your characters really came alive? There have been many books and movies dealing with the premise, but one I like the most was Delirious with John Candy. The writer of a soap opera gets hit on the head and wakes up in his own show. In order to escape, he must write himself out.
My experience with being pulled into my book wasn’t funny, like the film, but it did make me wonder if I have to continue living the circumstances I wrote into the story. It took years for things to work out, and the characters passed through many trials.
I went hunting with my brothers last weekend and enjoyed getting out. The mountain air and romance of a campfire, made up for the trouble of getting ready to go. It was good to be with family, and I got a little editing done.
I have a word of advice for you: Don’t eat a pear while editing in your truck in the dark. The juicy mess gets all over your laptop, and writing suffers.
While driving with my brother down familiar roads, on the way to different areas, I became aware of my rambling. My mouth was spilling out recollections of past experiences, both mine and those of my father.
Being blessed to have spent time, as an adult, with Dad became evident, but so did my feelings of being at home. I felt sorry for those who moved around a lot as kids. There might be many nostalgic places from their past, but I have memories piled on top of others, and all in the same places.
Almost anywhere I go, in Utah, I can recall a fond memory of the place. Some places dredge up more memories than others, but most of my life was lived in those areas.
Perhaps you can understand my distress over the closing of roads and limiting regulations. This blog is not the place for political soapboxes, but I’ve been feeling violated. It seems that certain groups are systematically destroying my whole life. When the powers that be, close off an area or legislate where I can shoot, they are pushing me one step closer to the grave.
I’m getting old and out of shape. I can’t walk into the areas where the forest service closed the 100-year old roads. I can’t afford to go to a private shooting range, and I shouldn’t have to.
My brother made a comment, last weekend that sticks with me. We watched a herd of cows crossing a meadow and I, with tongue-in-cheek, asked, "Why don’t you shoot one of them?"
He said, "I ought to. They’re grazing on my land."
That hits the nail on the head. It is, after all, our land.
As I said, this blog isn’t for political soapboxes, so you might be wondering how my story applies to writing. Spending time in familiar places from my past opened the floodgates of memory. Along with those recollections came reflection, and that is the inspiration for writing. Try visiting your past, the next time you get writers block.
Good luck with your writing---see you next week, unless they close another road.