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Day 39: The awkwarness of fiction writing

Mon, May 29, 2017 | Read in 3 minutes

Do you know Nora Roberts?

I’ve read some books by her and I’ve liked them all. A quick search and you’ll find that she’s a romance novelist. And she’s very good at it.

If you were Nora Roberts and people have read your work and they’ve read about the sex scenes and what-nots, wouldn’t you feel pressured when people come up to you and ask you about the real life experience behind the book that may have inspired you to write in such a “sensual” way?

Awkward, right?

Funny? Yes, perhaps when you’re on the asking side. It could be funny on your end, too, if you’re really open and you’ve got some pretty solid comeback for such questions.

I have nothing against Nora Roberts or the sexual things she write.

But sexuality, along with other topics, can be so sensitive that you have to wonder what happens when one of your family members reads your book? When your mother reads your book? Or your younger brother? Or your weird uncle?

How would that work out for you?

I clearly don’t have all the answers in the world.

And, if I were the author, I can’t just get away with, “Well, actually, I hired a ghost writer to write that part, Dad.”

So I guess the only way out is the same as the only way in.


It’s amazing how shit can get so complicated when we lie.

I seldom lie. And when I do, I put in extra effort to maintain my poker face.

I just find honesty such a simpler way to solve problems than fib and get caught and fib again.

So, maybe when I finish writing my own book, and maybe if it involved awkward scenes, I won’t have to lie to people that I didn’t write it or that I just read it somewhere or that my dog ate the more wholesome draft and I had to write another one, which eventually became the explicit version.

Maybe I’ll tell them, “Yes, I wrote that.” and “No, I can’t tell you if it’s based on my own experience or otherwise because fuck you for asking it’s personal.”

There are things we can keep to ourselves. It’s called privacy. We are entitled to that, at least.

**It needn’t be awkward. **Fiction is a form of art. And art bypasses awkwardness.

The people who try to ask silly questions might just be bored or they might try to test you to see if it brings you down (also bored, in this case, with their own lives). It’s just what silly (and bored) people do.

Maybe when that happens to me, I’ll accept the awkwardness BUT I’ll also recognize that I wrote and finished and publishedbook. And, sorry (not sorry) but fuck you if that’s the only part you noticed.