...today, I have the great pleasure to host friend and author, Dafni Ma, on my blog. Hi there, and thanks for giving up your valuable time to be here. And Dafni has a post about a subject that caused me some considerable anguish when I first made a foray into the world of writing. It's just that Dafni presents the difficuties far better than I ever could...
It’s not only multitalented people who come across the dilemma: “which art form would better express what I have to say?” This was me also, and I don’t consider myself multitalented (or ever particularly talented for that matter). To decide that I am going to express through writing took a long LONG time, a dance diploma, seminars in acting – directing – screenwriting – playwriting – painting – photography, three year studies in film making, and, well, an epiphany.
After that, I had the mistaken impression that this was it; I had found the magic elixir, the dragon was half-dead, I had discovered my bliss and now the only thing I had to do was follow it to the ends of time. And then that beautifully pronounced word came to crush all my plans: Genre.
East of the Sun West of the Moon
When I started writing, I had a story that was burning inside me and all that; simply put, I had already planned my first novel and it was a romance. I didn’t know what kind of romance though, so I started it as a screenplay- it would be a romantic comedy. Realising quickly that it would almost definitely never get produced, I changed the form to a novel. At that time, I was reading chick-lit by British authors like a hungry vampire that had suddenly came across a slumber party of 19 year old virgins. So chick-lit was my genre, great, I knew how to do that, and after a couple of months, I actually did it: I had now, a finished novel.
At this point, I could add a paragraph on the heart-breaking journey I went through to find a publisher, but I’ll spare you with the details. Just imagine rejections flying in my e-mail like Hitchcock's “The Birds”- me, pretending not to care - me, screaming “Why? God Why?” to the winds, well, you have the picture, moving on. I got published.
I then got into a phase in my life where poetry was the centrefold. From Traditional Haiku to Modern American, from Shakespeare to Eliot, etc. So, I started writing poetry. I self-published one collection. As time went by, I realised that I really liked this stream of consciousness thing. So, I self-published a memoir. Then I got into non-fiction books: Started writing one about Shakespeare. Science fiction: Started writing three novels, ditched them at about 15,000 words. Metafiction: Wrote multiple short stories. Kid’s poetry: Wrote a collection. You do get the picture.
The Hare & the Tortoise
Yes, there is a conclusion and here it comes. Lately, I’ve been spending most of my time being worried about my future as a writer and the thing is, I don’t feel good about what I have published. It seems messy. And I don’t mind a bit of messiness in my personal life (as the past has clearly showed me), but I have decided that my career has to be one of those things where I know where I am going, even if blindfolded.
I have finally decided on a genre, that, most definitely, I will deviate from at some point. But fantasy it what always triggered me, from the first story I’ve ever read to the recent last one. So, there. This is my road now: it’s paved with oddness and mist and two witches who kissed (and the occasional quirky rhymes).
The words are yet to come.
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