“A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.”
― Eugène Ionesco
The other night I had lasagna for dinner. It wasn’t homemade, but microwave, which might sound weird coming from someone with an Italian mother, but there’s one brand of microwave lasagna that I actually enjoy. Plus, it’s easy, and hey, sometimes easy wins out over flavor. Only that night I cooked it for too long, and I wasn’t really paying attention and when I bit into the first forkful I burned my tongue…bad. It still hurts. It also makes everything I eat or drink right now taste just a little bit off.
In a weird way this made me think about books, and writing in a peripheral way. How? Because when a reader is trying a new genre and they get burned with that first taste, that burn effects their opinion of the whole genre. As someone who writers erotic fiction, I’ve often heard people talk about how they ‘tried’ it and thought it was nothing more than porn for women.
When someone’s been burned, there’s really no way to talk them into trying whatever it is that burned them again, at least not right away, so I rarely bother. It’s the same way with readers who say say they won’t read a book if it’s written in first person POV or they hate first person POV. If you ask them why, it usually because they say they don’t enjoy it…but dig deeper and chances are you’ll find that they’ve only read one book that written that way, and they figure they didn’t enjoy it because of the POV. They don’t think that hey, it might actually be the story, or even the author themselves. Imagine if readers thought that after reading a book in third person. If the first book they ever read really sucked, they might never read another. Hmmm, maybe that’s non-readers are born?
I write in a genre that is often looked down on, or denigrated, and I also often write in first person POV (thought not always) and because I’ve talked to people who’ve been burned by their first taste of both, I’m very conscious of always trying to put my best work out there.
These thoughts, brought on by the burn on my tongue the other night, have brought a new consciousness to my plans for the year, so I thought I’d share….you never know, maybe they’ll spark similar thoughts for some of you.