Times when I find myself questioning everything, contemplating where I’m at, where I want to go, and my place in the grand scheme of things. Times when it seems that all I can see are roadblocks, and where I want to be seems light years away.
I have definitely been going through such a crisis recently. To the point where I have at times seriously considered abandoning my current pursuits. I have always found it somewhat difficult to “fit in”, and the pursuit of erotica authorship seemed to be turning out to be no exception.
Then I come across something like this…
I came across this blog post while perusing through my Twitter feed this morning. For many it will be a swift kick in the ass. For me, it was a much needed shot in the arm.
The post can be read directly at its source here, but I present it below in its entirety:
Monday, October 6, 2014
TaboosI was considering posting my thoughts under “Ravings Of A Mad Writer” because it would seem that my thoughts belong there. I’m feeling an internal rant coming on; cresting, roaring, breaking like Mother Nature’s most wicked fury. But this isn’t just my issue. This is AN issue. Prepare yourself for my long explanation and anger. I hope some of you can share my anger. Warning: I say fuck a lot.
Taboo:Noun – a social or religious custom prohibiting or restricting a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.Adjective – prohibited or restricted by social custom : sex was a taboo subject
ORIGIN late 18th cent: From Tongan tabu’set apart, forbidden’ ; introduced into English by Captain Cook
Ok. So I’m really hating this Captain Cook guy right now… Not because he coined a word to encompass all the things that are socially or religiously unacceptable, but because he coined something in the 18th century. It might not be all that rational to dislike like this guy based on his time period, but I just can’t help it. I honestly feel the taboos relevant to the 18th century are still relevant today. Herein lies the problem.
All religious notions aside; God fucking help us.
I’m so angry with the modern world right now that I could spit tacks. I find myself cursing when I search out publishers to submit my newest completed work to. One tiny moment at the very end of my story (A Normal Girl) will be the sole reason my fiction is rejected before anyone has even given it a chance.
Reading through submission guidelines, I run across things like:
1. “No scat or depictions or misuse of excretory functions.” Does that mean poop or pee?
2. “No deprived acts” What the hell does that mean? Depravity has no bounds…
3. “We do not accept bestiality (does not apply to shapeshifters), rape, etc.” The Shapeshifter bit makes me laugh because THEN bestiality is OK, but what the fuck does “etc.” mean?Really. If a publisher can’t clarify something on their webpage as important as to what is admissible or not, then they shouldn’t be a fucking publishing house!
I began writing my story to prove a point and drive home a message important to me, and now I struggle with the possibility my story will never be read by mass readers. All the other struggles aside; submitting, competing with other authors, making it through the cracks and not being cast into the unholy slush pile of disregarded and forgotten manuscripts… Geeze. Like it’s not already hard enough. Now I get to deal with not belonging in the “published by a publishing house” category because my subjects of fiction are taboo.
What makes something taboo? Who says what topics aren’t ok? Who has that power? Why? My story’s taboo is used to make a point, not to titillate. But that’s beside the point. Even if I had taken a taboo subject and glorified it, made it sexy, it shouldn’t fucking matter. Apparently because it’s fiction, it’s just not OK.
Pisses me off that the rules aren’t the same for non-fiction. You hear about autobiographies from so-and-so all the time about their time in captivity during war and the atrocities they went through. You read about rape and incest survivors and hear about how well their stories sell in the book stores. Why is what I’m writing about different? Why am I not allowed to write and publish what I want because it’s fiction and taboo? Does a true story have more merit than the creativity I pull out of my head?
I don’t think so. FICTION. Sweet mercy, people. Do we really live in such a world where ancient taboos are still modern? How many hundreds of years have to pass before writing–free to write, free speech and all–is really allowed. How dare anyone tell me or anyone else what’s not OK.
So fuck you backward thinking publishing houses. OH! And fuck you Amazon. Fuck you for banning books based on societal taboos. Fuck you society for making anyone feel ashamed about reading material. I don’t condone underage sex, incest, rape, bestiality (with or without shapeshifters), or other “depraved acts,” but I do condone writing about them, however you fucking want to write about them. Your own personal thoughts and opinions, especially in fiction, is a god given right.
I’ll continue to write what I want and how I want. I might not reach the masses with my story’s message, but I might reach one or two. I’ll still be heard, and maybe my message will make a different in the life of those willing to overlook the taboo.