Sunday, April 28, 2013

On Writing and Integrity

HI BLOG FRIENDS!!! *waves frantically* I've missed you all terribly, but I've been SO SO sick that I just haven't written, well, anything, for a hundred years. I'm going to slowly crawl out of my infirm cave, however, because I've been wanting to write this forever. And it's worth it to me to risk death to do so! *coughs, sputters, dies from hacking up a lung*

So. Integrity. Writerly integrity means totally different things to different people. To some people, they don't want to use language in their books. To some, it might mean not writing about sex. To some, it might mean they don't believe in censorship, and authenticity matters most, therefore censoring anything in their writing would be wrong.

Here's the thing: we ALL have different lines. If it's your faith, your religion, your general moral compass that directs it, I don't know-it's different for everyone. But we all believe something. For me, and the way I make my faith coexist with my writing, it means I don't use swear words when I write. I also choose not to write graphic sex. Does this mean I'm judging anyone who does? Absolutely not. My line is different than your line, because likely, my beliefs at least somewhat differ from yours. I'm cool with writing non-graphic sex, whereas someone else may draw the line at kissing. And that's okay.

The fact of the matter is, whatever your beliefs are, whatever that line is for you, even if it's something someone else finds ridiculous, don't cross it. If you believe that writing about tuna fish is wrong, DON'T DO IT. If you believe that using language, or writing sex, or censoring writing in any way is get where I'm going with this.

At the end of the day, it's about you, and can you be proud of your work? If you can, awesome. But if you believe something strongly, selling a book isn't worth breaking that belief, whatever that belief may be. I have a book I want to write, and I have written some of it, and I strongly believe that because of the setting and characters, it would be a better book if I included swearing. But I'm not gonna write it that way, because that's my line. And if I believe the book sucks without it, I'd rather not write it. Or sell it.

Do I judge people who do swear in their books? NO. It doesn't phase me; most of my betas and CP's do; it's totally their choice. And I absolutely respect that everyone has different beliefs about what they personally will and won't right. But whatever it is you believe, if there are things you don't ever want to write about, or things you want to always stand for when you write, stick to that belief, no matter what people say. Cause ultimately, it's about you and YOUR story. And being proud of what you've written will feel a whole lot better than having a check in your pocket, if it comes down to that.

Keep calm, and write on, peeps.