Thursday, June 12, 2014

May All Writers Be Well

I had it in mind to write a a bit of a rant last night. Seems like all sorts of writing and publishing related things have been irritating me the last couple of weeks and I had a whole train of thought that seemed like a good idea to put on the page.

But I went to yoga before I wrote it, and when I came home my entire message had shifted to this:

Take lots of naps and love all the people and all the things.

Which would have made for a very short blog post. Maybe you would have liked that, and if so, feel free to make that your take away message.

What I was going to rant about was the proliferation of pigeonhole boxes and the judgyness in the literary world. For a field involving creativity, there is an awful lot of judgement going on about who is allowed to write - and read - which types of books. (And yes, judgyness is a word, because I said so. You know what it means.)

This week what got me was the bit about how adults should be embarrassed to read young adult books. And there was another bit about how romance writers aren't real writers, or some such. J.K. Rowland is supposed to stop writing books, or write a different kind of books, depending on who you talk to. Apparently some authors write only for women, or only for men, and readers who step outside of those boxes are two headed monsters. We should self publish. Or we should traditionally publish. Which thing we should do or not do varies, of course, depending on who is doing the talking.

My original response to all of this is rage. I hate boxes, particularly when I'm expected to be in one. I'll read what I want, thank you very much. As for writing? Don't call me a woman writer or even label me as an Urban Fantasy writer, just because my first published novels are in that genre. I write stories. I'd like for human creatures to read them. I don't care about their age or gender. Hell, if your cat or dog admits to their ability to read and they like my stuff - please, have at it.

I'd like to believe that our right to free speech is also a right to free reading and writing.

Which brings me back to yoga.

At the end of every yoga class, my instructor repeats a blessing that goes very much like this:

May all beings be peaceful.   
May all beings be happy.   
May all beings be well.   
May all beings be safe.   
May all beings be free from suffering, and the causes of suffering.

As writers (and as human beings in general) we can all learn a lot from yoga. It's about paying attention and being mindful, accepting the limitations of your body and soul with kindness, and then gently encouraging and teaching the muscles to do things that once seemed impossible.

This is hard. It's even harder to extend the acceptance and love to all of the other beings around you, who are obviously doing things wrong.

I'm challenging myself to move away from anger and drama and into a place of love and acceptance - for all the writers, and all the readers.

May all writers be peaceful.
May all writers be happy.
May all writers be well.
May all writers be safe.
May all writers be free from suffering, and the causes of suffering.


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