Just Because You Can…

Posted by on Oct 4, 2020 in Writing | 1 comment

Last week, I sat down and wrote an oh-so-upbeat blog about writing things (books, articles, poems, etc.) and never getting them published. It talked about how not everything you write is going to, or should, see the light of day. The post talked about how I found a piece I started writing when I was ten, and how I’ve realized that it will never make it fully out of my head and onto paper, no matter how many times I try and have tried (believe me, in thirty years, I tried A LOT). It was my first real novel. It had a plot, a conflict, a resolution. The main protagonist was sympathetic. Heck, even the antagonist was somewhat sympathetic. It had everything it needed to create a good, solid story. And because our stories are pieces of us, I nurtured that piece. I spent years writing and rewriting. I put it on disk, the disk crashed. I put it on paper, the pages disappeared. I have one copy of it and I’m not telling where it is. The article was supposed to be a resolution that it would never be finished, and that was okay.

Then, my computer ate my homework. I saved the document and Windows did an update and shut down. When it came back up, I couldn’t find the article in my files. I looked in the temporary files, my recent files, etc. I know I had autosave on, but I also know I saved it, but it’s gone. Somewhere in my computer is a sweet, nostalgic piece about accepting that not everything you write should be shared…And then I saw this…and this.

Two different authors and possibly two different publishing houses (I didn’t look that far into it, the descriptions alone were enough to give me a headache) decided a love story where the doctor falls in love with the virus she’s trying to eradicate would be a great idea to publish during a pandemic. Let me repeat that there are two (possibly more) books about female doctors falling in love with a virus. Part of me is curious if there’s a book out there where a female doctor falls in love with the common cold or cancer, but the other part of me still wants to believe there’s hope for humanity, so I’m not going to go there. To me, this is the equivalent of women falling in love with convicted murderers and rapists after they’ve been convicted and are currently serving time. Yes, I know it happens, but it probably shouldn’t.

When I was a teenager, just like most teens, I had mountains of angst. Some people drew, some people argued with their parents, I wrote poems and stories. They were awful. Some poems rhymed, some didn’t. Most, nearly all, were dark and depressive. When I was first dating my husband, I found them and tortured him by reading them to him while he drove home. The graveyard shift is torture enough, but he suffered through all the lousy poetry I wrote, and it kept him awake as he drove home from work. He must really love me to go through that. Now, does that mean I published them anywhere? Nope! I didn’t and I won’t. Sure, someone might buy a copy. I also might walk outside, get struck by lightning, and end up with superpowers.

The point of this diatribe is that you should absolutely write about whatever comes to mind. It helps grease the cogs on the gears in your imagination. Our worlds consist of “what if” and exist only in the limits of our imaginations. We should be pushing the envelope of those limitations. Does that mean everything we write is gold and must be shared with the world? Repeat after me, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

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