Friday, November 25, 2011

Classifying a Writer

I recently read an interesting blog where a certain author did not want to be called 'indie'. The term brought up thoughts of the Seattle music scene and that authors wanting to be 'edgy' have adopted the term.

I call myself a writer. I'm indie in that I do not have a huge company behind me marketing and promoting my book. While I don't think I'm necessarily 'edgy' - my work has been called raw, truthful, hard to read, gripping, emotional, heartbreaking. 

It got me thinking about who I am as an author. I don't write in any particular genre so I can't easily be classified as an "X" type of writer. I did not go through an MFA in Creative Writing Program so I don't always play by the rules. I realize the importance of an editor because I'm well aware of my own limitations in writing. I also tend to go against the norm in some things that I write - walking to my own beat (if you will).

But those things that make me different make me who I am as a writer. They also push buttons of certain readers and reviewers and can really infuriate people who expect certain things when they open a book. A publisher once fell in love with the first half of a book I had written, but as soon as a twist came in to play - they could not get behind it for fear of alienating their readers. Others have praised my dialogue while some call it stilted and unrealistic. And then there was my non-fiction book about my half brother who died where I told the story through his words. I received both praise and criticism for this unconventional way of story telling.

I love the varied opinions a writer can receive for the same piece of work. It shows that everyone can be touched by the same thing in such different ways. It illustrates the great opinions we all have when we read, watch, visit, partake... And it shows me that I must be doing something right in what I produce as a writer; even when I'm rarely going to give the reader what they expect. There are people out there who enjoy to be challenged and made to think when reading. And I love that I can offer that to people, even when they can't agree on what they think or how it has affected them. But the greatest part is that it has affected them - and that is perfect for this 'indie' author.   


  1. I love this!!! I think that you've truly done your job as a writer if a particular piece of writing can can get you both praise and criticism at the same time! :)