Wednesday, September 5, 2012
IWSG - Sometimes, Somewhere Deeper Than You Know
Taking a deep breath...and...
As writers, we're often advised to "Write what you know." With NEVERLOVE, there are a few things I know a little bit about, things I wish I didn't know. One of those things is knowing what it was like for someone else's position in life to cast a shadow on my own.
As a teen, I accepted a job, nothing big, working with a prominent family. I got to ride in Mercedes Benzes, picked up by my employer, occasionally, in a limousine. Never mind these limos were used to shuttle mourning families for the owner's funeral home business. I was the poor kid in a rich person's world. And it wasn't all roses. I was 14 with a couple of college-aged guys interested in certain...curve appeal I apparently was too nerdy to realize I had. Lewd comments were whispered to me in quiet corners. Approached while I worked alone. Touched. Inappropriately.
I rejected their advances, jokingly most of the time. If the advance was too forward, I had enough fighting spirit to push back. Not too hard. I couldn't afford to lose my job. At least, that's what I convinced myself to believe. I never told my mother. She would have made me quit. Our family would have lost out on the couple extra hundred bucks a month I was bringing in - legitimately...a personally big deal given others chose less legal routes. I didn't want that to happen. So I dealt with it until I got tired of it and moved on.
I mention this today because my main character deals with something FAR more disturbing. I'm a little nervous about it. But as someone who experienced a fraction of this as a teen, I know it happens more often than our society wants to admit.
I meditated on this when I chose to publish the novel. There will be reviews, some of them not-so-nice. Some from people with no idea that I know what it feels like to be sexually harassed over a period of time. I'm working now to separate my personal experience from what's mentioned in reviews. To focus on my work and the next idea, not flounder about in a sack cloth and ash bemoaning a bad review.
I do wonder, for all you readers and writers, do you feel there is something to learn from a review that is considered a "bad review"?