Bella Bryce's latest blog posts
I wanted to start out by saying don't care if you experience judgement, but that's a little naive. We all care. No one likes to feel like other people are thinking negative things about them or worse, speaking those things out loud for even more people to hear. If you think about it, what gives breath to someone's need to think or feel criticism for subject matter that you read or I write? This isn't a morality analysis - it's a question to gauge the posture of one's heart. The need comes from hurt or an insecurity. I used to hate children. Full on hate. Seriously. I laugh about it now because oh my goodness was I hurting. It wasn't about children or some of the questionable parenting techniques which caused them to be obnoxious, it was about the childhood that I never really had. It was having to hear my mum tearfully tell me how when I was two years old and we were in public, I used to put my arms up at every male who walked past in hopes that they might pick me up and hold me. I could still cry thinking about it. How tragic is that? It makes understanding my old reactions to children a lot easier to swallow, doesn't it?
My anger, bitterness and resentment toward children in general came from how deprived I felt. The train of thought was like this: well, I didn't get a childhood. No one loved me. I didn't have a father. He was a drug dealer. The other one hurt me. On and on and on and on it goes. By the age of 29 I've been molested, robbed at gunpoint, nearly died of septicemia and then nearly had an amputation, had to relearn how to walk, met my biological father (and was subsequently rejected by him) - and that's just the surface. If you want to know what causes people to look at your life and point a finger it's the same level of hurt that causes them to cry themselves to sleep at night. After all of that wouldn't one think it's easy to point a finger and say that's not fair. You shouldn't read that. Why do you write about that? You don't understand. But I abhor that kind of attitude.
What does this have to do with reading or writing in a certain genre? Everything. Out of everything comes people's hurt and the place in which they store their greatest memories and deepest pain - - the heart. This is a heart condition. This is not just about judgment. Even so, let's be mindful of how we throw that word around. Everywhere we look it's don't judge me, or you don't know me. We're all human and we were created with a significant, unseen stamp of identity. Beneath the surface of what you think is so unique (and we certainly are unique) one can easily forget that the basic practical and emotional needs are all the same. We all want to be loved and accepted. On that basis, someone might get a glimpse of your e-book library or that paperback you got from Romantic Times and make a decision about who you are as a person. What they don't realise is that decision about who you are for reading that book is the same person they are being for making quiet decisions about your worth.
Three years into being published with Blushing I don't believe anyone is blatantly treating me differently because I write books where consenting adults get their bottoms smacked for falling foul of clear boundaries and rules (so it isn't like the reader doesn't know it's coming), but there have been moments where I've suspected people think differently of me. I've written eight novel-length books so it would be pretty silly to reduce that kind of accomplishment to 'but they're not normal books.' I understand some people don't read fiction, or they only read economics or scientific journals, biographies, etc etc but even there, a person decides that what they do and what they read is teaching them something they need to know. There is a decision made that economics and science (or fill in the blank) equals some kind of superiority. Fiction isn't less because it is fiction - it's less because someone decided it would do nothing for them.
The heart is as tender as it is strong. Some of you are going through very difficult circumstances and recently I've had my share of anguish, so don't reduce someone else's personal opinions to they are just being judgmental. Wouldn't that mean that you are, too? Whilst I personally don't read erotica (but write in a closely-related genre), most of my friends do. I care more about what is going on inside of them that causes them to write what they write - or to react in a way that isn't representative of their true greatness when other people point a finger and lay claim against their talent. That kind of thing isn't supported in a community where authors first and foremost rely on each other. Readers and fans are a close second. At the end of the day if I need shelter from a crap review or a rough rewrite, I run to the community where I know they get me.
Guard your heart and surrounded yourself with people who get you and love you for it. And actually, you don't even need to be exclusively around people who get you - just be around people who love you.
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