In fact, being prideful, or being prejudice, is as easy to recognize in ourselves as being able to see what our own arse looks like. I mean, you have to do a lot of turning and bending and reaching and being awkward to truly look at what your backside looks like.
So I suppose this leads me to the blog. I remember when I first googled my name. It was around early spring 2014. I hadn't quite published anything, but I had been blogging for quite some time about my upcoming book, my writing, and how I felt about Jane Austen. I was surprised that there was so much about me online! I might have shown about 15 people that week that I was a “public figure”, mostly in jest, but I know I was a bit proud to do the “look at me daddy!’ dance. Less than five years later, if you put my first name into the search bar on Amazon, my author page comes up as the first suggestion (if you spell it correctly). And I’m working on my 8th published book, Buying the Duke's Silence (sequel to Inspired by Grace), with a June 1st publication date.
But people change, and so does an author’s writing. Before publishing, I was comfortable, in fact, predictable. Moderately fun––yes––but always early to everything and I went to bed at generally the same time every night. I was organized and prepared. I would not allow myself to fail. But my writing has evolved, warped, or transformed in multiple ways and directions (you can pick the adjective). I started with basic JAFF, then Christian JAFF, and a few original Christian Historical Romances.
This last year I realized, that actually making a mistake, or missing a deadline, or forgetting to connect a major plot point, or for heavens sake, uploading the wrong version of a manuscript to Kindle Direct Publishing . . . made me see that what I do online, i.e. what other see, is not what is actually “on the line”. I see what a big arse I had, or at least have caught enough of a glimpse of it to wonder if people hear the blaring “reverse” horn when I am backing up!
Before you think I’m all transformed and “humbled”, I’m not. Because only those who think they are humble, actually need humbling, and I’d really like a reprieve from that life lesson.
I do think several critics didn’t ever truly understand why I wrote or blogged about what I did. In short, I write for: The One. Sometimes I write to get rid of the elephant in the room that only I can see. Other times it is because I have gained things from the hurt inflicted by others, or lost things along the way by taking from another. Either way, I hope to help prevent others from “learning the hard way”, like I did. So, I basically write for you.
I am the only owner of my arse, and I don’t have any control or ownership of all the other arses in the world (Thank goodness!!) In short, I just have to monitor my own arse––Not
“watch out for my own arse”––that means something entirely different. I try to remind myself that it can be easy for others to see my human arseness, but much harder to help them see their own. When I do catch a glimpse of its hugeness, I must be patient, allow time to watch my character grow, scene by scene, day by day and, well, push myself to be less of an arse.
So even though this sounds like a humble bramble, remember, I blog for myself, or my readers, and you could be The One I am writing for today. You and I both could be classified as the pure lovers-of-books who know why they read. They read to be transported into those experiences, those lives, and that oh-so-special world an author creates.
This is how I want to define my success as an author:
My hope is that my biggest fans see, then join, the growth of my fictional characters––by feeling just the right amount of twist and stretch to see their own arse. It would be natural for my reader to then make that awesome, self-directed leap into character growth; making the world less arsey (another made up word).
That is the mark I want to leave on the world. Who is with me? Lets rid the world of arses, starting with our own. But, this was just how I look at things, hence my name as the blogger. It really is just my opinion. But as Clint Eastwood says in Dirty Harry, “Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.” Funny thing, we all think everyone else’s stinks but our own.
Jeanna Ellsworth Lake
Hey Lady Publications