Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Fan Base

I have a fan base. They're called my extended family who never reads anything YA or dark fiction other than my writing. I loaned The Fault in Our Stars to one of my aunts once and she liked it (amazing book, by the way) but other than that ... When your extended family wholeheartedly supports whatever you enjoy doing, whether it's soccer (I've had to hear about my cousins' soccer abilities for years), playing an instrument (good thing I never got into that), or writing, they like to talk to you about it. A lot. Even though they don't read that much and have never really enjoyed writing, but they still want to hear about whatever you've been doing. And offer suggestions on the topic they don't know very much about. At times, this presents problems ...
My extended family really likes the fact that I write. Once it went around the grapevine (yes, I tried a social experiment to figure out how long it would take them to find out), they all started talking to me about it. At first it was just "oh, how long have you been writing, do you like it," etc. Once I did NaNoWriMo and told a few people about it, though, it was all over. Early December, I opened up the top card from our stack of Christmas cards to find my grandpa's Christmas letter.
In it, he detailed the trips he and my step-grandma had taken over the past year, how they'd been golfing, a small blurb about all of their kids, step-kids, and grandchildren. I found the following passage about me: "Katia, a freshman, wrote a 60,000-word adventure novel." (I'd found that there was no easy way to explain a dystopia to older generations, so apparently my dystopia involving a trek through cornfields was turned into an "adventure novel".) My favorite part of being mentioned in the letter was that I had done nothing else important enough to worthy a mention. Not starting high school or starting a new sport or anything else. I had officially been summed down to a writer. And, of course, I was his granddaughter, whose novel (he hoped) would be available for download on his Kindle very soon. (Grandpa Peter, in case you're reading this, The Chosen is in second-draft purgatory right now. Your granddaughter won't be an author anytime soon.)
My writing also shows up at family gatherings in other ways. At Christmas for a talent show, I was ordered to do something creative (and people wonder why I write dystopias). I decided magic tricks and Gagnam Style weren't my thing, so I sat down with everyone else and wrote an awful Christmas poem in the allotted time, and once I was done, read it aloud. They seriously thought it was the best thing since chocolate or something.
Of course, whenever I see my family, they always ask what's new. They also know I write, so they try to work that in too. Helpful, see? Our conversation goes something like this:
AUNT: So how are you? (Hug which I resist)
ME: I'm good
AUNT: (pauses) So, have you been writing anything?
ME: (not wanting to go into details) Uh, yeah. I've been working on a novel. I've been rather confused, though, because I've been trying to edit it, but I don't have an ending.
AUNT: Well, I've heard that joining a critique groups would be really helpful…
AUNT: There are some great writing classes you could take if you wanted to build your writing expertise with professionals…
ME: (noncommittally) Oh, I'll try that ... Sometime.
I love my family, seriously. They're awesome, crazy, and funny, and I know they're there for me. If I ever wanted to get feedback from them on my writing, I could, and I'm sure many of them would take me up on their offer. I get frustrated when they all offer suggestions for my hobbies. Ultimately, as useful as their feedback is, it's up for me to decide. If I feel like I'm not making the choices for something that I do that I really love, then it's time for me to step back and reevaluate my priorities (of course, I do take their advice with a grain of salt). The thing is, I write for myself. As selfish as that sounds, if I don't enjoy what I write, if I don't laugh at my own sarcasm (not like I do that or anything), if I don't love my characters and stories and plots and metaphors, there's no point in writing, no matter how much my grandparents may want to read my work.


  1. NO HUGS FTW! Seriously, what is with people and hugs? I'm always like, "DON'T touch me or I will dislocate your arm and skin you like a banana."

    The only person who reads my writing mom *blush*. And she's like "it's a little edgy, Aubrey, but you're so much better than you used to be."
    Uh huh. Sure. Thanks.

    If you ever want knife-point feedback, send some stuff my way (I just sent you my email address: and I would love to critique it. And perhaps vice versa? ;D

    1. That's a bit graphic. Oh, wait ... you do write dark fiction ... See, I'd never show my non-fluffy writing to my family. They'd think I was depressed or something.
      That's a very generous offer. Would you want me to send you short stories or novel-ish things or ...? My novel wil be ready to beta in mid-May! Isn't that exciting? Really, though, you don't have to if you don't want to. I'd love to critique your stuff as well.

    2. The world is flat and I fell over the edge. Sorry. ;P

      Either! That is awesome. Congrats ;). And I'm doing Camp NaNo too! What is your username? Mine is A.F.

    3. What? The world is FLAT? The things you don't learn in school... My username is KatsK. I'm going to lower my Camp goal, though. See, I've written 37,000 words so far, so I think I'll change my goal from 30,000 to 20-25,000, because I've been writing more than I thought I would.


Thanks for visiting my blog, A Writer Girl! Comments are totally appreciated, and if you have constructive criticism, I'll welcome that too. Thanks so much for your input.