Do I want to write like a woman? What does that mean?
I want to write like me, my own personal style. Do I write Chick Lit? No, but does that mean I look down on it? No.
All styles have their places, readers are free to choose what they like.
Writers cannot please everyone, we can only try our best, give it all and hope others will fall in love with the stories we have weaved.
As I’m nearing publication, I keep on doubting myself as I do every time. I’m not the only one. Expectations are high, my novels are my babies. Yet, once they’re out there, they don’t belong to me anymore.
I’m lucky, I have other projects on the go. In a way, I shall be relieved to get on with these, move on. Writing a novel is an emotional process for me, letting go is another. I laugh and cry with my characters as the story progresses, like a mad woman.
But back to the writing like a man or a woman controversy. Comments have been fierce following VS Naipaul‘s latest outburst. Do I care? Yes, and no. To be honest, he can think what he likes. The man likes to stir things up, so let him.
I guess I’d rather be told I write like a woman, then a man. Yes, I am an emotional person. So what? Why should that be wrong? We all have different personalities, let them shine. Why bother, if we all wrote the same stories in the same style?
Men are said to be more aggressive when submitting to agents and editors while we poor women are too weak to persevere in the face of adversity. How long are we going to keep these stereotypes alive? Men can be as emotional as women can be strong. Some women I know are way scarier than men.
So, let’s throw out our prejudices and remember what’s important. The story. Not long ago I picked up a book. I put it down after five pages when the main character turned out to be a witch. I snorted, witches, I thought this was a ‘serious’ book. However I picked it up again. ‘What’s the matter with you?’ I asked myself. I had enjoyed it thus far. Why stop at the mention of witches?
I don’t do witches and fantasy, but this book turned out to be a revelation. The writing was superb, the fantasy kept to a minimum. A beautiful love story, a woman who fights back.
My new novel is a love story, a young woman who turns her life round, proof that we don’t have to suffer our lives. We all got it in ourselves to fight back, to refuse the odds, to break vicious circles.