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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Me, Myself, and I...and My Writing





Are you one of those people who gets pulled in 14 different directions because you desperately try to satisfy everyone's need for you to do something for them thus fulfilling their perception of you? Or, do you attempt to be /behave/react the way you think they feel you should? Lord, I fall into that trap so easily you'd think I had multiple personalities.

Wait. I do.

I'm my real name (not telling!), then Marianne Stephens, and also April Ash. The real me is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, cousin, niece, aunt, grandmother, friend, volunteer. Hmm. That's 11 personalities right there.

Marianne Stephens is an author, promotions expert (yeah, right!), speaker on writing, writing groups member, blogger, loop joiner (way too many!), twitter member, LinkedIn member, FB page member, creator of Romance Books '4' Us yahoo group, blog, and website.


As April Ash, I do all of the above as an erotic romance author. However, Marianne Stephens also writes nonfiction books, and April Ash doesn't.

How do I pull off switching personalities to suit everyone else...especially when it comes to my writing? A better question might be...should I?

The three of me (me, myself, and I) sometimes end up going in circles trying to please everyone while catering to others. Sometimes the grandmother encounters the speaker who's trying to help the erotic author explain why I write what I write as April Ash. That has been a difficult task as the real me has found out. Telling people I write erotic romance books as April Ash hasn't been embraced by some as an accomplishment. In fact, some think I've "crossed over to the dark side" by doing so.

Both my pen names write romances with “happily-ever-afters”. The differences occur in how they get there and the language/details I write for each book. While Marianne Stephens enjoys writing the more sensual, funny, contemporary/paranormal and sometimes suspense type of romance stories, April Ash has written two erotic romance stories. More story ideas flood my head all the time. In fact, I'm working on more than one book now.

Can I please everyone with my very different approaches to romance writing? No. In fact, hell no. I can no more keep everyone happy with their ideas of who I am/what I should or shouldn't do than I could fly minus the use of a plane.

While I try to compromise on some things to keep others happy with their image/expectations of me, it gets harder to do that the more I want to see how far I can get with my writing career.


So, how do you handle keeping everyone happy...or, do you? Not getting what you want or expect can be a valuable lesson, no matter how old you are. I've got to have a therapy session with the three of me and learn to help others accept my combined trio of personalities!

Or, I just need to note their disappointment/refusal to accept my different approaches to writing and do as I please. After all, satisfying my need to get words on paper and create a story is my goal. I respect other opinions, but what I write is ultimately up to me.

In your writing, consider your choices and what’s best for you. If you value the opinions of others more that your desire to write with your voice/style, you may need to rethink your goals. Write for yourself, not for others. You’ll find fans and fellow authors who value your voice and style. But, you may never please everyone in your career.

http://www.aprilash.net

photos:Flickr: Mosieru J. and Joanna Penn's photostreams

10 comments:

Sandy said...

There comes a time when the others need to learn to survive on their own. You need to do what you want for you, Marianne. I gave up trying to satisfy everyone. It isn't possible.

Victoria said...

I am sooooo there with you. Sandy is right in that satisfying everyone isn't possible - but for some of us, it is hard to stop trying. Hugs.

Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Marianne!

I was raised 'to please' as most females are. Was exhausted all the time until I decided I counted too.

Never turned back. We can be caring, but we have to stop short of sacrificing every part of our lives to make others happy.

Karen McCullough said...

Yes, yes, yes! It's so very true. We all have jobs, families, friends, etc. that pull us away from the writing - not to mention all the promo we're expected to do for our books!

We have to prioritize and sometimes others aren't going to like how we set up our priorities. That's just the way it is.

Judy Baker said...

I agree Marianne, I started writing under a different name so other (co-workers and family members) critical people wouldn't find out I was writing. It was stressful. Finally, I decided I'd write no matter what they thought. The people important are the ones that read and like my stories, so I'll keep writing and let everyone know I'm a Romance Writer. Thanks for the post.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Marianne! Sigh. Like the other ladies, I did a lot of pleasing. However, when it came to writing and writing different genres, I kept my name for all of the above. Batman is my real last name and it is a good one. I just have to be specific about which genre when marketing and maybe the romantic comedy folks won't get too upset with the erotic stuff. And vice versa. What a nice picture!

Rose Gorham said...

Where my writing is concerned, I please myself; what I write, when I write. Money never enters the picture. But there are times when you have to put yourself last. My hubby is sick and he has to come first. Thank God I have great kids who are doing their best to give me the time I need to be me.

jean hart stewart said...

I gave up pleasing everyone a long time ago. Now I just write and enjoy writing more than anything I've ever done. Although I don't always please even me....Good post, Marianne. You're a wonder with all you do...

Paris said...

I think women are raised to please everyone and put ourselves last. It's the cultural acceptance that we were all taught to strive for and that really irritates me.

Making everyone else happy is an exhausting, impossible task and a waste to time. I'd rather be writing:)

Melissa Keir said...

I feel like I'm pulled in so many different directions. I'm a person who was born with the "mom" gene intact at birth. I was a mom to my younger sisters when I was still a baby myself.

I wish I could find a way to explain my personalities/desires/needs to others. Mostly, they just nod their heads and then begin to shake them when I tell them what I do.

We are important and I hope you find the time for yourself that is so important to our health and well-being and then if you do... share the secret with me! :)

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