Writing

One girl’s bologna is another girl’s ham

I’m continually amazed at the capacity of the subconscious mind. Sometimes a memory comes to me unbidden. When that happens, I always try to connect it to something current.

The other day I remembered a conversation I had with a childhood friend. She and I were friends from third grade through high school, but then as young wives and mothers, we drifted apart. We talked on the phone a few times through the years, and finally met up at a mutual friend’s birthday party where we reminisced about our childhoods.

Compared to my family, I considered her family rich. I told her how happy I was when she invited me to stay for lunch at her house because she had glorious things like Coke and shaved ham sandwiches on sesame rolls. She told me she preferred eating at my house because we had Kool-aid and bologna sandwiches on Wonder bread.

But why remember that ironic revelation now?

There’s a two-fold reason. With my novel, The Brevity of Roses, coming out soon, I think I needed reminders that:

  1. My book is not me.
  2. Not everyone will like it—and that’s all right.

I know very well that reading taste is a personal thing. In the last year, I’ve picked up several books others raved about, only to find I did not enjoy them. That didn’t make them bad books. They just weren’t good books for me. I don’t dislike the authors who wrote them—they may all be lovely people. And I consider some of them good writers. I just didn’t care for those particular books.

So, yeah, if a few of you don’t like my book, I’ll be okay with that. Some people like ham, some like bologna.


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15 thoughts on “One girl’s bologna is another girl’s ham”

    1. Thanks, Cathryn! I pulled that from a longer post:

      “Whether or not something I write resonates with a given reader depends on the reader. If I write honestly, my intended audience will appear while those who are not intended to be in my pool of readers will drift away.

      “When we are enjoying the journey, we stop worrying about finding our intended audience ~ we trust that our intended audience will find us.”

      http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/our-field-of-dreams/

      You and Linda might enjoy yesterday’s post on Uphill Writing ~ a video of published authors offering advice and inspiration:

      http://uphillwriting.org/2011/02/02/quips-quotes-inspiration-watch-this/

      Wally Lamb’s quote mirrors my sentiment above:

      “Write the story for yourself. Investigate what your truths are. And then have faith in it. And let the audience that’s meant to find it find it.”

      Write on!

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  1. Hmmm, seems no one ever came to my house for my dad’s date nut shakes and sardine sandwiches.
    I hope that’s a lesson for me: Don’t be too weird or no one will like me. (I haven’t learned it yet)

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  2. lol, and some of us neither (like me!). But, I’m not that fussy when it comes to literature 🙂

    Yesterday, I was at cafe writing, and eavesdropping in the way I often do before fully diving into my work – one of the ladies at the next table was discussing how she had called her family long distance to recommend they read a book – when said the name, the person on the phone said ‘oh the worst book ever”. There you have it!

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  3. Zoe Winters also wrote a post recently on this subject. Bottom line, we should write what we want and if someone else finds your writing and enjoys reading it, well that is just icing on the cake, now isn’t it?!

    I recently started editing a novel that I was almost afraid to share with the world, because the MC is a very disturbed young man and completely delluded by his own inability to cope with his actions. I feared this journey into his psycosis would be too much and too “dirty” for many readers to handle, but I’ve decided that it is what it is. I have no expectation that the world fall in love with the MC–or me–as far as that goes.

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    1. DS, I’m sick myself right now, so my brain is fuzzy and I can’t name any, but I know there have been successful books written with psychotic main characters before. It will find it’s audience.

      I don’t want to write just to please others, and I’m sure you don’t either. That’s almost writing to a formula, which I would hate. Of course we want some readers to love our work, but we know not every one will.

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