Oh, but the questions they plant in my thinking. I’ve already spent years looking for answers.
How does what’s in your heart fit all those preconceived ideas about genre? Will your heart find its place on the bookshelves among other people’s writings from their hearts?
What if you’ve got a heart that keeps changing its mind? What if your heart wants to swim with dolphins one day and the next wants to stuff its face with clotted cream? And aren’t you just so jaded anyway with other people’s definitions about what kind of literature belongs where?
Matt Haig is. I follow his blog. I suggest you do too if, like us, you wonder why we limit ourselves with these outdated ways of classifying literature.
Matt’s not afraid to sell himself. He makes no excuses for promoting his work. His book THE HUMANS is out now and I can’t wait to get a copy. I love his take on the world of publishing and the naughty way he encourages us to break the rules. I admire his focus.
My focus changes. All the time. I write short stories that women’s magazines love. I also get a lot of rejections from the same magazines when my stories are too downbeat, too odd, too sad.
The January Girl who always feels short changed.
Not Rodgers and Hammerstein – an unconventional love story
The End of the World Party – relationships crumble at the dinner table
The Meter Man – living with someone’s annoying habits.
There’s a list as long as your arm of these stories which don’t seem to fit.
This is what I mean by swimming with dolphins one day etc. I want to write sad stories. I also want to write stories that make people laugh out loud. I see magic hiding in the vineyards around my home and I see danger lurking in the same places when the weather turns. I want to write ALL these things. Not something that neatly fits a place in somebody else’s categories.
I demand the right to write from my changeable heart. No, that’s probably too strong a word. I assert the right to write from my changeable heart. There, that doesn’t sound so angry. It’s nobody’s fault I crave so much variety, that my heart goes off in all these different directions. Maybe I should have been an octopus. They’ve got three. The extra arms would be useful, too. Do octopi sing, I wonder?
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