Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Everyone has an opinion...


There's an issue that's been nagging me lately and I felt it was time to finally write about it. I should mention, however, that this particular subject has bothered me ever since I was in college, several years ago. I remember day after day of sitting in one of my writing classes, hearing fellow students rag on Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. They were of the opinion that her books were not "real" writing.

Despite the fact that I am personally a fan of this series, my disagreement with them has nothing to do with personal taste. First of all, Meyer's books have been written, which sounds like a defining characteristic of a book to me. Secondly, they have been published: not something every writer can brag about. Third, they have been sold all over the world to million of adoring fans that purchase not only the books, but the various merchandise that has been produced for the series (a popular film franchise, anyone?).

Perhaps my frustration with the topic stems from the fact that I myself am a chick-lit writer. I say the term proudly, feeling that such literature should have no negative connotation associated with it simply because it is preferred by women. The very idea that such negativity surrounds a series because of its appeal to women in particular sounds to me like nothing more than discrimination and bullying.

Perhaps my opinion is a bit aggressive. I am no politician, but I believe that writing is meant to be enjoyed, whether it's by one person, an entire continent or the writers themselves. Readers have a variety of different tastes, and it's a good thing they do! This world thrives on diversity and literary diversity is a big part of that.

I recently read a line in Stephen King's novel, On Writing, in which he said "I have spent a good many years -- too many in fact -- being ashamed of what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction and poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent."

I suppose if even Stephen King was accused of terrible subject matter, then that leaves little hope of the world ever truly being rid of such criticism. It does, however, remind me that while people will continue to judge my writing, I am in the incredible company of writers both before and after me. But to set the record straight: I do and will continue to write about only what inspires and thrills me and I sincerely hope that my readers will get something out of it whether that be inspiration, comfort or pure enjoyment.

Thank you for reading (and letting me vent) and feel free to let me know how you feel about this particular topic.